On Friday, the leader of a Tunisian opposition group said he had been summoned for questioning in connection with a radio interview, accusing President Kais Saied of attempting to intimidate opponents.

Ghazi Chaouachi, the head of the Attayar party and a vocal critic of Saied, said he had been summoned by an investigating magistrate to address charges of “disturbing public order and interrupting government operations.”

Since gaining executive authority last summer, Saied has established one-man rule, dissolving parliament and moving to rule by decree as he seeks to overhaul Tunisia’s democratic constitution.

Former government minister Chaouachi had said on local radio that Prime Minister Najla Bouden, whom Saied had nominated in September, had resigned, but that Saied had refused to accept it.
Saied urged that the prosecutor “confront rumours aimed at undermining the state’s stability.” She later denied having quit.
“By sending me to investigation so quickly, Saied is attempting to scare me since my opposition to him is so loud,” Chaouachi added.
Tunisian officials have been contacted by Reuters for comment.

Saied claims that his actions are legitimate and that they are necessary to rescue Tunisia from years of political and economic stagnation at the hands of a corrupt, self-serving elite.
This year, he strengthened his grip on power by deposing Tunisia’s highest judicial council, which safeguards judges’ independence, as well as the independent electoral commission, which ensures free and fair national elections.

Another important Tunisian opposition figure, former Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali, announced his arrest on Thursday.
Police refuted this, claiming that they had not detained him but had investigated a factory owned by Jebali’s wife.
Saied has stated that he will defend Tunisians’ rights and freedoms gained in the 2011 revolution that brought democracy and sparked the Arab Spring.
Although there has been no large-scale arrests or crackdown on free expression, authorities have launched investigations against opposition individuals, including parliament members who met last month after Saied stated that the chamber would be suspended.


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