Tunisian President Kais Saied said that he will present, Thursday, a draft decree to a temporary council of the judiciary, while judges continue their strike for the second day in protest against the dissolution of the Supreme Judicial Council, amid condemnation by the United Nations and international and local organizations of Said's decisions.
Saeed reiterated, during a meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs Othman Al-Jarandi, on Wednesday, that there is no independent judicial authority in the state, but rather a job in the state, as he put it.
The Tunisian president questioned the concern expressed by some countries and embassies accredited in Tunisia regarding the dissolution of the Supreme Judicial Council, and stressed that Tunisia is a sovereign country that knows well international treaties.
He also questioned the reasons for the concern of these ambassadors, saying that he is concerned about their concerns, stressing that Tunisia is not a country, as he put it.
In turn, Tunisian Justice Minister Leila Jaffal said that President Kais Saied will keep the Supreme Judicial Council, but will establish a temporary authority until a new law is prepared to organize its work.
The minister added that Saeed adheres to the Supreme Judicial Council and is keen to review the law regulating it in a way that guarantees the rights of judges and helps them to exercise their duties in the best way, and to enable litigants to fully enjoy their rights.
Tunisian President Kais Saied announced last Sunday evening that he had decided to dissolve the Supreme Judicial Council, and that he would issue a temporary law or decree in this regard.
Continuation of the strike
Saeed's insistence on his position comes at a time when judges in Tunisia began a strike in compliance with the decision of the Executive Office of the Association of Judges to suspend work in all courts on Wednesday and Thursday, in protest of the Tunisian President's decision to dissolve the Supreme Judicial Council.
The head of the association, Anas Al-Hamaydi, told Anatolia on Wednesday that there is a wide response to the strike - according to preliminary data - in a large number of the republic's courts, and in the three judicial wires (judicial, administrative and financial).
He added that the strike in the Tunis court recorded a response rate of more than 80%, in Manouba (north) 100%, Ariana (north) 100%, and in Sfax (south) a very high rate, and "the rest of the country's courts are in the process of collecting information about them." .
Security forces close the entrance to the Supreme Judicial Council building after President Said’s decision to dissolve it (Anatolia)
The Association of Judges had called for the suspension of the work of the courts on Wednesday and Thursday, with the exception of urgent cases and cases related to terrorist crimes, and considered that the dissolution of the Supreme Judicial Council aimed at the independence of the judiciary, and that it was an attempt to restore the image of the judiciary under the executive authority, as it put it.
For its part, the Tunisian Association of Young Judges announced its intention to file a complaint with the World Federation of Judges requesting the formation of a committee to look into what is happening in Tunisia.
Meanwhile, the head of the Tunisian Association of Young Judges, Mourad Masoudi, said that the protest movements of the judges will continue, and that more escalatory steps will be announced in the coming hours, as he put it.
President Saeed has been facing increasing pressure for days from judges and officials in the United Nations, and in several countries, who have warned that his decision to dissolve the Supreme Judicial Council threatens the rule of law.
Meanwhile, international bodies expressed concern about the crisis in Tunisia. The United Nations considered Saied's decision to dissolve the Supreme Judicial Council a serious undermining of the rule of law.
Stephane Dujarric, a spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, urged the Tunisian president to reverse course.
Dujarric also said he shared the same concern, Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, about the move.
Bachelet said in a statement on Tuesday that "there are increasing attempts to stifle dissent, including harassment of civil society actors."
For its part, Amnesty International said that the Tunisian president's moves to dissolve the Supreme Judicial Council constitute a "serious threat to human rights in Tunisia."
The ambassadors of the Group of Seven rich countries to Tunisia and the European Union envoy - in a joint statement on Tuesday - expressed "grave concern" about the decision.
In a previous interview with Al Jazeera, the Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights in Tunisia, Nidal Jourdi, said that the commission is keen on the separation of powers and rejects the executive authority's interference in the affairs of the judiciary in a way that affects its independence.
In parallel with the external warnings, internal condemnation of the president's decision continued, as more than 40 civil organizations in Tunisia announced their rejection of any interference from the executive authority in the work of the judiciary.
In another context, the defense team in the case of the assassination of opposition leaders Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi in Tunisia accused the Ennahda movement of interfering in the affairs of the judiciary to obstruct the disclosure of the truth of the assassination and those involved in it, as it put it.
The commission said in a press conference in Tunis that it had filed a complaint against 26 people, led by the movement's leader, Rached Ghannouchi.
On the other hand, the Ennahda movement said that it holds the President of the Republic, the Minister of Interior and the Prime Minister responsible for the physical safety of the movement's leader, Rached Ghannouchi and his family, after the campaign launched by the Defense Authority in the assassination of Belaid and Brahmi against the movement.
The movement's spokesman, Imad Khamiri, said that this body had infiltrated the state apparatus and was trying to strike its political opponents.Keywords: