Tunisian judge quits electoral commission over president's sackings of judges

Saied dismissed 57 judges earlier this month, accusing them of corruption and protecting terrorists, charges that the judges' association said were mostly politically motivated. His move heightened accusations at home and abroad that he aims to consolidate one-man rule after assuming executive powers last summer in a move his opponents called a coup, subsequently setting aside the 2014 constitution to rule by decree and dismissing the elected parliament.


Reuters | Tunis | Updated: 13-06-2022 22:10 IST | Created: 13-06-2022 22:10 IST
Tunisian judge quits electoral commission over president's sackings of judges
  • Country:
  • Tunisia

A judge resigned on Monday from Tunisia's electoral commission on Monday in protest at the sackings of dozens of judges by President Kais Saied ahead of a referendum on a new constitution next month. Saied dismissed 57 judges earlier this month, accusing them of corruption and protecting terrorists, charges that the judges' association said were mostly politically motivated.

His move heightened accusations at home and abroad that he aims to consolidate one-man rule after assuming executive powers last summer in a move his opponents called a coup, subsequently setting aside the 2014 constitution to rule by decree and dismissing the elected parliament. Tunisian judges went on strike on June 4, charging that most of the dismissals were politically motivated.

"I submitted my resignation from the membership of the Electoral Commission in support of my colleague judges and to ask for a basic law for judges in accordance with international standards," Administrative Judge Habib Rebai said. Saied has scheduled a referendum on "a new constitution for a new republic" on July 25.

He has excluded the main parties from participating in a debate on the new constitution, while the powerful Labour Union has boycotted the process. Rebai was appointed after Saied replaced members of the independent electoral commission, enhancing his powers and casting doubt on the credibility of any coming elections.

Saied says his moves are needed to save Tunisia from chronic governing crisis following the 2011 revolution that ushered in democratic reform. He said he is aiming to cleanse the judiciary of rampant corruption and does not aim to control it.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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