Tunisia: Coalition of President Saied’s Opponents Announce Boycott of December Parliamentary Elections

by | Sep 10, 2022 | Political, Tunisia


As of early-September a coalition of political parties and political leaders opposed to President Kais Saied’s political reforms had announced plans to boycott the upcoming parliamentary elections scheduled for December 2022. The coalition, known as the National Salvation Front, has claimed that the election will be conducted and overseen by bodies loyal to the President and will therefore be illegitimate. Many of the same members of the coalition were also opposed to Saied’s 25 July referendum on the new constitution. Many critics have argued that the referendum and the constitution itself were poorly conceived and do not represent popular opinion.


Saied demonstrated with the 25 July referendum that he currently has the passive permission of the Tunisian population to continue his march toward reform and his vision for the future of Tunisia. His critics argue that the process has been unconstitutional and undemocratic, however most Tunisians are more concerned with their short-term economic prospects than the long-term validity of their democracy. This has created space for Saied to pursue his reforms which will likely remain the case until December. There are no current indicators that a strong wave of public discontent with Saied will block his path to December election on his terms, despite the growing chorus of voices among the Tunisian political class who have been marginalized by Saied’s change of direction.