WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), ranking member and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, along with U.S. Representatives Gregory W. Meeks (D-N.Y.) and Michael McCaul (R-Texas), chairman and ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, today released the below statement following yesterday’s referendum on a new Tunisian constitution:
“Yesterday’s referendum on a new Tunisian constitution was another worrying step in President Saied’s erosion of Tunisia’s democratic institutions. We are particularly concerned there was inadequate public debate and participation by ordinary Tunisians, and no minimum threshold for turnout. Reports of the use of state resources to campaign for a ‘yes’ vote and that local elections observers and journalists were barred from election sites are equally troubling.
“The United States will continue to support the Tunisian people and encourage efforts to return to a transparent and inclusive system of democratic governance. We urge President Saied to work constructively with all Tunisians, end the state of emergency, and take steps to restore Tunisia’s separation of powers, democratic institutions, and the rule of law.”