NLC Expresses Concern on Tunisia’s Political Crisis; Calls for Constitutionalism

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THE Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has expressed concern on the ongoing political crisis in North African country, Tunisia as it extends solidarity to workers and trade unions in the country.

In a statement dated August 3, 2021 but released to National Record on Wednesday, August 11, 2021 and signed by Comrade Ayuba Wabba, the NLC said though it is not its wish to meddle in the internal politics of the country, it however stated that it shares the concerns of Tunisian workers and their trade unions for “democratic stability, social dialogue, national cohesion and inclusive development.”

The statement reads:

“It is with great concern that the Nigeria Labour Congress observes the political development in Tunisia – our sister African country. While we do not wish to meddle in the internal political processes of Tunisia, we feel a sense of duty to extend solidarity with Tunisian workers and trade union organizations especially given their concerns for democratic stability, social dialogue, national cohesion and inclusive development.

“The recent actions of Tunisia’s President relying on Article 80 of the Tunisian Constitution is viewed by some as necessary to arrest a relapse into the state of affairs that precipitated the mass protests which snowballed into the famed ‘Arab Spring’ revolution. There are also those who view the President’s actions as too unilateral cum drastic and capable of eroding democratic rights and destabilizing the State.

“These two domineering tributaries of public opinion in Tunisia appear to confluence on political expediency and constitutionalism. We urge President Kais Saied to ensure that while undertaking reforms for the common good that the provisions of the Tunisian Constitution are held sacrosanct. This is important as constitutionalism especially with regards to upholding the rights of citizens, workers and trade unions is crucial to inspiring and sustaining public confidence in the proposed reforms. It is also pivotal to ensuring that the current intervention does not degenerate into the subversion of democratic processes and emasculation of institutions of state especially the Judiciary.

“We also believe that a national dialogue involving all the segments of the Tunisian Society should be convened as soon as possible. Such a dialogue can give birth to a transitional programme with clear deadlines of returning Tunisian state institutions to normal democratic operations, healing the wounds of the past and fostering national development in an atmosphere of justice, peace, and patriotism.

“We commend the Tunisian military for refusing to interfere in the political process in Tunisia and for maintaining the civilian character of the State.

“Finally, we commend the Tunisian Federation of Trade Unions (UGTT) for always standing with the people of Tunisia and for lending its voice and platform for the advancement of the interest of Tunisia. We pledge our solidarity at these trying times.”

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