Tunisia: Saied’s Coalition Shrinks as Thousands Protest in Capital

by | Oct 16, 2022 | Political, Tunisia


On 15 October 2022, thousands of demonstrators filled the streets of Tunis along Avenue Habib Bourghiba, with dissatisfaction with President Kais Saied as a unifying theme, along with frustration about food staple shortages and the ongoing fuel crisis that reached a crescendo in the preceding week. The largely peaceful protests came on the heels of a 12 October 2022 announcement by the Soumoud Coalition that they were no longer in support of the President’s policies. The coalition, comprised of various academics and experts, had long supported Saied, but expressed concern with the nature of the political reforms he has undertaken.


The demonstrations over the weekend of 15 and 16 October 2022 dwarfed those of recent months, with many of the prior demonstrations lacking either a clear message or a large presence of demonstrators. The strong turnout, likely spurred by the financial crisis that has begun to touch all Tunisians, not merely the vulnerable, likely drove the increase in participation. A growing list of parties and coalitions that plan to boycott the coming December parliamentary elections is likely an indicator of waning patience on the part of the broader Tunisian populace for Saied’s political project, particularly as food shortages continue and the cost of living continues to rise.