VIIIth anniversary of Revolution: President of Republic wishes to avoid “at all costs” January 17 general strike
14/01/2019 17:25, TUNIS/Tunisia

(TAP) - On the 8th anniversary of the Revolution, President Beji Caid Essebsi wished to avoid "at all costs” the general strike scheduled for January 17, “because its negative consequences will be more important that the benefits that can be obtained in case all demands are met.”

Speaking at the opening of the exhibition "Before the Fourteenth, instant tunisien” at the Bardo Museum on Monday, the Head of State called on the Tunisian people to "close ranks to overcome the crisis facing Tunisia".

"Only the union of all will allow overcoming the crisis,” he pointed out.

The events of January 26, 1978, he recalled, had resulted in several deaths and the imprisonment of several others, in addition to the disintegration of the national unity whose impact was overcome only after several decades.”

Caid Essebsi also stressed the urgency of finding a solution to "the deterioration of the purchasing power of citizens", considering that this is a legitimate reason to call the general strike.

"We must, however, take into consideration the current situation of the country so as not to repeat the January 1978 scenario," he advised.

He added "this is more important that devoting oneself to the formation of a political party working on behalf of the current government (referring to the National Coalition, close to Prime Minister Youssef Chahed who purportedly intends to announce a new political project).”

For the Head of State, this has contributed to delaying the democratic process in the country.

Eight years after the Revolution, several important achievements have been made, including the freedom of the press and expression and the establishment of the democratic process based on the organisation of elections, the drafting of a new constitution and the installation of constitutional bodies, he further indicated.

The President of the Republic has also pointed out that the democratic experience must be protected in view of the many demands that followed the Revolution and related to unemployment, poverty and marginalization which eight years later have not been met.

He, however, praised the "singularity of the Tunisian experience" that has propelled Tunisia to the forefront, regionally, in the area of democracy.

Caid Essebsi also called on the Tunisian people to do their utmost to realise the demands of the Revolution, "so that the efforts of those who sacrificed their lives for the homeland are not in vain".

He hoped to see the list of the wounded and martyrs of the revolution published as soon as possible in the Official Gazette, especially as committee of the martyrs and wounded of the revolution under the Higher Committee of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms has compiled the list for a year now.

The Head of State also emphasised the importance for the Tunisian people to preserve the revolution as an asset that must be cherished, saying "Tunisia is still standing firm and the year 2019 will be better".

He also expressed the wish to establish new political traditions in Tunisia to ensure the alternation of power as one of the prerequisites for the establishment of democracy.

That democracy cannot be upheld without the establishment of the rule of law and equality before the law and the freedom of expression, organization and assembly in the respect of the law, he said.

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