Tunisia: Dialogue essential to resolve crisis

The ITUC is calling on the Tunisian authorities to urgently convene a broad and inclusive process of dialogue to steer the country out of its current political crisis.

On 25 July, Tunisia’s Republic Day, tens of thousands of young people gathered in public squares to demand government action on health, jobs, deteriorating living conditions and increasing poverty. Particular blame was focused on the main government political force, the Ennahda Islamist party.

At the end of that day, President Kais Saied dissolved the government, suspended parliament and assumed executive, legislative and judicial powers for a renewable period of one month.

The ITUC’s Tunisian affiliate the UGTT has been active in the national debate about constitutional solutions to restore institutional stability and navigate a path out of the political crisis and the economic crisis that is at the core of the public discontent. The UGTT has convened legal experts to prepare proposals for public discussions towards a “roadmap” to tackle the multiple crises, including rooting out growing corruption.

“A grave challenge”

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, said: “We stand fully with the UGTT in its efforts to seek an agreed way forward, which must be non-violent, fully respectful of the constitution and the rule of law with judicial independence.

“The ITUC also supports the UGTT’s backing of the right to peaceful protest and its rejection of regressive social and economic policies. The democratic transition in Tunisia is facing a grave challenge, and it is through dialogue – in particular social dialogue with the inclusion of the social partners and other legitimate civil society organisations – that this challenge can be overcome.

“We further call on the international community to support a negotiated political solution and urgently-needed investment in vital services, in job creation and in ending poverty.”