The Chargé d’Affairs of the United States Embassy in Tunisia, Natasha Francesky, was summoned last Friday evening to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to receive a protest against the rejection of the doubts expressed by the US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, about the validity of the recent constitutional referendum aimed at strengthening the authority of President Kais Saied.
Blinken said, Friday, that Washington “shares the concern” expressed by the position on the proposed new constitution, which was approved in a referendum, and stressed that it “could weaken democracy” in the African country, before reminding that the May 25 referendum “has been decided “. by declining voter turnout.
“We share the concern that many Tunisians have expressed that the process of drafting the new constitution has limited the framework for real debate and that the new constitution could weaken Tunisian democracy and undermine respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.”
In response, the State Department, in a note picked up by Mosaique FM, lamented that Blinken’s statements “did not respect the rules and principles of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
The head of the portfolio, Othman Al-Jarandi, directly expressed Tunisia’s “astonishment” to the official for these statements, which “do not reflect the reality of the situation” in the country, “where efforts have been made since July 25, 2021.” It is the date on which Saeed began to assume new powers in what his critics described as a self-coup to “restructure political life.”
The minister said that the “reforms” “were carried out in record time with the aim of building a real democratic system based on justice, equality and human rights stipulated in the new constitution that meet the aspirations of the Tunisian people.”