The decision to arrest Tunisian opposition politician and leader of the Free Constitutional Party, Abir Moussi, continues to fuel controversy in the country.
This is particularly significant as Moussi was one of the most prominent opponents of the Ennahda Islamist movement and affiliated with the civil current, thus revitalizing criticism against Tunisian President Kais Saied, in light of his alleged targeting of political opponents.
The arrest of Abir Moussi took place on the third of October, on charges of obstructing freedom of work and inciting chaos. Security forces apprehended her during her protest outside the Carthage Palace.
She had gone there to file a complaint regarding the previous parliamentary elections, which she believed was marred by irregularities.
Prior to her arrest, Moussi stated in a recorded message that her intent in filing the complaint was to prepare for an appeal to the Administrative Court.
Moussi’s Resolute Opposition:
Ever since the Ennahda Islamist movement assumed power in Tunisia, Abir Moussi has been one of their fiercest opponents. Even after President Kais Saied’s decisions to remove them from power in July 2021, some believed that Moussi would support his actions. However, she remained on the opposition’s side, criticizing the President’s decisions and accusing him of ruling with an autocratic style.
It’s not just Moussi who accuses President Kais Saied; the Tunisian opposition collectively rejects his management of the country. They assert that his approach squanders the gains of the Tunisian revolution.
On the other hand, President Kais Saied defends his governance as a necessary response to the transitional phase Tunisia is going through.
This period is marked by the challenge of holding the Ennahda movement accountable judicially, as well as a severe economic crisis characterized by skyrocketing prices, increased poverty rates, and the disappearance of essential commodities from markets.
European Union’s Concerns:
At the same time, Tunisia faces growing concerns from the European Union regarding illegal migration waves. This concern is exacerbated by rising poverty and violence on the African continent.
Tunisian opposition, including Moussi, believes that President Saied’s justifications for his individualistic approach to managing Tunisia are insufficient. In contrast, the President disregards all criticisms, asserting that he will persist in his course until Tunisia overcomes its current challenges.
Arrests Amid Continuation:
Amid this ongoing situation, President Saied has arrested several opposition figures, including Moussi, whom he has often been described as acting on his orders. This has also included the detention of civil activists and journalists, raising concerns about the nature of his rule.
Within this complex landscape, the Free Constitutional Party accuses President Kais Saied of arresting Moussi to prevent her from participating in the upcoming presidential elections scheduled for 2024.
Questions loom in Tunisia about the fate of the civil party, which was one of the primary opponents of Ennahda and played a pivotal role in the events of July 25.
The party faces significant challenges in the absence of its leadership. Tunisian analysts question the party’s ability to remain cohesive and continue without a viable alternative leadership to Moussi.