In Tunisia, the confrontation between the parties and President Kaïs Saïed is intensifying.

The head of state excluded all parties from the “national dialogue” on the new constitution.

He commissioned the law professor Sadeq Belaid, who was loyal to him, to head the "National Advisory Commission for a New Republic".

Another advisory body should only include representatives of the trade unions and a human rights organization.

Hans Christian Roessler

Political correspondent for the Iberian Peninsula and the Maghreb based in Madrid.

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Saïed accuses the parties of plundering the state.

Last July, the president largely assumed power and a few weeks ago finally dissolved the previously suspended parliament.

On July 25, the Tunisians should already be able to vote on the new constitution in a referendum, for which they could submit proposals online, but only a few did.

A new parliament is to be elected on December 17th.

Fear of repressive measures

The President remains popular, but opposition to him is growing.

The newly founded "National Rescue Front" recently mobilized more than 4,000 people in Tunis for one of the largest protest demonstrations against the head of state's "coup".

In addition to the Islamist Ennahda party, the new coalition also includes smaller opposition groups and independent politicians.

However, Johannes Kadura cannot yet see any broader movement.

"The opposition is still divided," says the head of the office of the SPD-affiliated Friederich Ebert Foundation in Tunis.

A lot will depend on how the influential trade union umbrella organization UGTT positions itself in the end.

At least as explosive as the political polarization are the rising food and electricity prices, which even the state cannot stop with subsidies, because it is on the verge of bankruptcy itself.

“The state and its institutions are becoming increasingly weak.

A small spark could be enough to cause an explosion,” fears not only Johannes Kadura.

The research and advisory organization "International Crisis Group" is concerned about the President's crisis management: "He could resort to repressive measures that trigger serious unrest and increase his political isolation."

The international community has so far increased the pressure to persuade the Tunisian President to return to democracy and to seek talks with all political forces, but to no avail.

A delegation from the European Parliament recently returned frustrated from Tunisia.

Spanish MP Javier Nart accused the head of state of destroying state institutions.

"We're dealing with an autistic president who doesn't listen to anyone," Nart said.

European aid must be linked to real dialogue.

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