July 27, 2021 Special Dispatch No. 9466

Senior Saudi Journalist: Tunisian President Kais Saied Saved His Country From The Muslim Brotherhood's Attempt To Wreak Chaos

July 27, 2021
Saudi Arabia, North Africa | Special Dispatch No. 9466

In his July 27, 2021 column in the Saudi Al-Sharq Al-Awsat daily, senior Saudi journalist 'Abd Al-Rahman Al-Rashed praised Tunisian President Kais Saied's dismissal of Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi and his suspension of parliamentary activity. The parliament is headed by Rached Ghannouchi, chairman of the Ennahda Party, which is the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) party in the country.

According to Al-Rashed, in recent months the MB in Tunisia had created artificial crises and deliberately attempted to wreak chaos and bring the country to collapse, in the hope of exploiting the anarchy that could result to retake control of the country. Calling President Saied's moves "a rescue operation for Tunisia," Al-Rashed stressed that just as the MB had been uprooted in Sudan and in Egypt, its rule is now failing in Tunisia – its last stronghold in the region. He added that the MB rule in Tunisia had proven that it is a fascist religious movement which has no place in the current era.

'Abd Al-Rahman Al-Rashd (Source:

The following are translated excerpts from his column:

"It appears that the doors have closed for the MB movement. Even its alternative capital city, Istanbul, no longer welcomes its fleeing members. Following Egypt and Sudan, now Tunisia is announcing the death of the MB's reign. Tunisia was the [MB's] first gate [to power] and its most important achievement in the past decade, and today it is the last of its strongholds to fall.

"The demise of the MB in Tunisia today is no surprise – on the contrary, it is coming years later than anticipated. Its fall was caused by the fact that it was a partner in the government, and because it linked itself to chaos, assassinations, and actions aimed maliciously at thwarting the government's functioning after it lost its control of it.

"Tunisian President Kais Saied clearly warned that what was going on [in the country] would likely lead to intervention on his part. But it [i.e. the MB] thought that he would not dare [to act] and that it would again control the country... [Saied's] emergency measures came as a rescue operation prior to a collapse. The parliament had [recently] become paralyzed, so [Saied] suspended its authority, and also fired the prime minister after his government failed...

"They [i.e. the MB]  wanted the president['s status] to be merely formal – but he became the voice of the Tunisian citizen. Today he is a real president, with an opportunity to fix [areas in which] the government and parliament failed. It is hard to understand the factors [which led to] the artificial chaos that has [recently] prevailed [in the country]. Why didn't the Ennahda Party's leaders and members of parliament not back down in recent months so as to neutralize the tension? They likely thought that the crisis would bring the people out into the streets and lead to a repeat of the December 2010 scenario [i.e. the Arab Spring protests and events that brought down the government of president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali] and that by means of this chaos they would climb the ladder back to power.

"The problem is that the Ennahda Party wants to rule without following the rules... and now it is protesting against [President Saied's] emergency measures and calling them a violation of the constitution and a coup.

"Kais Saied is the elected president and he won in 2019 with a wide margin. How can an elected president stage a coup against himself? What he is actually doing is rescuing the Tunisian regime and Tunisia as a country from the chaos that is already evident. The impetus for change was the crises in the health [system], the cost of living, and the constitution. Most of these crises were caused by delaying tactics and deliberate attempts to thwart [solutions to them]. Each time the president wanted to intervene because the country was on the verge of disaster, these elements [i.e. the MB] said he should stay in his palace. As the crises continued, the president had two choices: to resign and to face future harassment by rivals accusing him of incompetence, or to intervene and announce the necessary change.

"The additional dimension of the [current] campaign in Tunisia is [its connection to] the anti-MB campaign in the Middle East – [the MB] was uprooted from Sudan in 2019 and from Egypt in 2013. The MB in Tunisia had a chance to rule for a long time, [and its regime] is proof that it is a religious movement with a fascist political agenda that has no place in this era."[1]


[1] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), July 27, 2021.


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