TUNISIA, UGTT: Statement of the National Administrative Commission

Keywords : Declarations Tunisia

The extraordinary administrative committee calls for the dissolution of the government and proposes an initiative to all the parties.

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STATEMENT in PDF

We ,members of the National administrative committee of the UGTT, meeting today 29th July 2013 under the chairmanship of M. Hussein Abbassi, the Secretary- General, to consider the current situation of the country, assess the facts and study the latest news so as to contribute with suggestions based on our historical and national responsibilities ,help put an end to the current situation and bring the transitional period to a consensual completion , especially after the political assassination of the martyr Mohammed Brahimi, one of the leaders of the Popular Front in Tunisia, , member of the National Constituent Assembly and previous Deputy Secretary General of the Union of the Real Estate Housing Agency.

The situation of extreme tension that the country is undergoing which culminated with the political assassinations and openly threatens peace, security economy and development leads us to point out the following conclusions:

• Utter failure of the government in addressing the security file, starting with the exacerbated spread of organized crime and violence led by militia, terrorism and political assassination which has targeted political figures, brave soldiers and policemen who have ensured the protection of Tunisia’s soil and sovereignty ending with the martyrdom of eight of our national military soldiers at Mount Chaâmbi today 29th July 2013.

• Trust erosion in the National Constituent Assembly due to the slowdown in the completion of the constitution, reluctance in forming committees that would ensure democratic transition, predominance of political disputes on its proceedings and the violation of the previously set up commitments as the constituent was allocated to perform in no more than one year.

• Exaggerated resort to the logic of the majority and partisan quotas in managing the assembly’s proceedings and guiding its decisions, instead of promoting consensus. Not to forget the utter deviation from the tasks its members were elected for.

• The frantic attempt to impose the ruling party members on the state bodies and republican and civil institutions in order to manipulate them for the party’s interest which may impinge their republican nature paralyze their functions and lead to unilateral decisions paving the way to tyranny.

• The birth of violent organisms and terrorist groups which violate the public and private liberties and endeavor to abolish the state’s role and the republican institutions. Violence has become a way to achieve political and social dominance through arm smuggling now granted, facilitated transport and stocking as well as a political cover to practice and justify it or turn down all the initiatives to condemn it.
Actually, the civil peace is threatened due to the recurrence of impunity cases, the decline of the sovereignty of the state law and the manipulation of the judiciary system as well as targeting the reference frameworks and the civic common conventions. Not to forget, also, the conspicuous silence over the incitement and “takfiri” discourses that some political leaders and Imams are diffusing, the use of mosques for partisan and political purposes and the absence of any effective legal resistance to these phenomena.

• The impotency of the state bodies in maintaining the national economy’s immunity and standing against the possibility of its decline and the failure in putting an end to the continuous devaluation of the dinar compared to the other currencies… the deterioration of the business environment and the serious regression of the consumption level and export ,which are the levers of the national economy as well as the spread of corruption, smuggling, monopoly and parallel trade which have deepened the economic crisis and increased the population’s suffering when leading to price increases.

• The violent reaction to peaceful protests (buckshot incidents in Siliana, the mining basin, the 9th April 2012 incident, protests of the unemployed…) and at the same time, the absence of solutions and perspectives engaging dialogue and persuasion.

• The predominance of frustration among people, especially the middle and low classes who have become unable to grant themselves the basics of living due to the inflation, rising unemployment and partisan nepotism in recruitment.

• The government’s silence on the instigation of religious, ideological and doctrinal conflicts, which weakened the revolution course, spoiled its objectives and led to the incidents such as that of Al-Abdilya Palace and the attack on the US Embassy. The systematic assault on journalists and the impediment of cultural events by disturbing them, targeting the union and the opposition parties headquarters, hindering their meetings have, also, driven the peaceful Tunisian revolution to a spiral of violence that reached its peak with the assassination of the martyrs Lotfi Nagadh, Chokri Belaid and Hadj Mohammed Brahimi.

• The crippling of the security bodies, the creation of a parallel guards, the absence of laws that protect security agents and grant them their rights as well as the political will that engage them to do their work and duties properly.

• The obstruction of the national dialogue and the retreat on the national consensus about the constitution whereby the parochial partisan opinion predominates over the logic of dialogue and consensus.

In an attempt to face this crisis, this interminable headlong rush discourse and this blatant disregard for the people’s concerns, and given the awareness of the UGTT of its national role and historical duty, our independent decision and belief in the necessity of making the transitional period a successful one and finding a way to bring it to completion despite the smear campaigns and exclusion against it, we bring forward the following initiative to all the parties:

A- Dissolve the actual government and consent on an independent national leader to form a government of qualified members within a week on the condition that this government be neutral and limited in number. These members should be independent and pledge not to present their candidacy for the coming elections. Their tasks are the following:

• Caretaking the national politics until the next elections

• Foster a climate of security, trust and reassurance for the people to pave the way for free and transparent elections in transparent conditions.

• Dissolve the so-called “Revolution Protection Leagues” and sue those who committed crimes assaults and violence.

• Find ways to neutralize the educational administration and institutions, universities, cultural spaces and houses of worship to shield them from manipulation, political debates, partisan disputes and enact deterrent laws to achieve these goals.

• Set up a high committee whose task is to review all the appointments in the state institutions and administrations locally, regionally and centrally and on the diplomatic level.

• Form a national committee to investigate in the assassinations and terrorist crimes and violence in the aim to reveal the truth behind the assassinations of the political leaders, brave soldiers and security agents by clearing the obstacles obstructing the investigation of the terrorist and political crimes.

• Enact laws to fight terrorism and prevent the engagement of the security unions in reforming the security system.

B- Regarding the drafting of the constitution—the main task for which the Assembly was elected—we suggest the following:

1- Set up a committee of experts and allocate them these tasks:

a- Review the last draft of the constitution to rid it of all the gaps and flaws that threaten the civility and republican system of the state and the bases of democratic choice and also include the consensuses that the members have come to in the draft.

b- Prepare a draft electoral law on the condition that the committee finishes its job in fifteen (15) days from the day of its formation.

2- Issue a constitutive law that stipulates the tasks of the National Constituent Assembly:

• The ratification of the draft constitution that the committee of experts has prepared.

• The ratification of the electoral law.

• The preparation of the high independent committee for elections on condition that the process does not exceed fifteen (15) days from the date the committee of experts advances the draft constitution and electoral law to the National Constituent Assembly for ratification.
In case the assembly does not ratify the draft constitution and the draft electoral law advanced by the committee of experts specifically elected for the purpose within fifteen (15) days, the National Constituent Assembly’s term of office ends.

We, members of the National administrative committee, the more we fully express our support to the peaceful popular movement in all the regions and the National Constituent Assembly’s right to protest and strike to claim the speed up the transitional period and the dissolution of the interim government, the more we insist on the peaceful character of the protests .

We , also, ask to stop targeting peaceful protesters violently, violence that culminated with the death of the martyr Mohamed Mufti on Fridy 26th July 2013 in Gafsa and the injury of a dozens of victims in many regions ,especially in Bardo square, where the sit in is organized. We also condemn the harassment, assault and insults the deputies have been subject to. While we hail the security forces and their unions for their attempts to protect the civilians, we urge them to protect the protesters and grant them their right to protest.

Furthermore, we ask for an independent investigation to all allegations of abuses, to reveal the circumstances, arrest the perpetrators to hold them accountable.

We announce that the administrative committee will always be vigilant to follow up the situation in the country and take the adequate decisions to protect the country from violence and its perpetrators.
Glory to the martyrs! Pride to our nation!

Long live the UGTT ever so independent, democratic and militant.

Tunisia, 29th July, 2013

For the Administrative Committee,

The Secretary-General

Hassine Abbassi

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