If it was not clear already, Kais Saied’s moves to put half of the parliament on trial for treason and conspiracy should reveal to all his authoritarian ambitions. He has never been committed to the constitution. [Saied] has consistently exhibited a tendency toward executive aggrandizement, increasing his powers in violation of the constitution. Civil society organizations, despite their frustrations with Saied, are trying to set themselves up as the ‘neutral’ arbiters between the president and the opposition. Even if political parties, civil society and international donors all unify around a demand of restoring democratic institutions, and public opinion turns on Kais Saied (both of which are tall tasks), that still may not be enough. It ultimately depends on Kais Saied: Will he agree to negotiate, or will he escalate into even greater repression? We just don’t know. His personality and behavior will ultimately make or break Tunisian democracy.
[Tunisian President Kais Saied ordered the army to take charge of the nation’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign, using their] image of strength and efficiency [to bolster his standing.] [Saied] is trying to get quick wins by using the military courts, which are in theory more reliable in the prosecution of certain members of parliament.