Tunisia: 2019 Presidential Polls - Zbidi in Sfax for Election Campaign

Tunis/Tunisia — National Defence Minister and independent Presidential candidate Abdelkarim Zbidi held a meeting at the international fair of Sfax closing his electoral campaign.

In a statement to the press at the meeting, he pledged to preserve the freedom of expression proclaimed by the Tunisian revolution and to continue his efforts to search for the abducted journalists in Libya, Sofiene Chourabi and Nadhir Ktari and to invest his "very good relations" with all parties in this brotherly country to reveal the truth in this file.

Zbidi also explained recent controversial statements to the media that, as defence minister, he ordered the army to prevent the meeting of the House of People's Representatives after "black Thursday"(June 27, 2019) amid suspicion of a coup after the spread of a rumour of the death of President Beji Caid Essebsi.

"There is no coup against legitimacy", he said, stating that "the armed forces are among the many stakeholders of the successful democratic transition."

The defence minister said that one of his priorities for the region of Sfax "is to tackle the issue of pollution, especially marine pollution to sanitise the sea and the beaches of the region", affirming that the measures will support the region in the fields of health, higher education and scientific research."

He added that one of his priorities, once in power, "is to remove the prison sentence for young cannabis users, set up a fund to fight against poverty and a fund to improve domestic infrastructure."

He also stressed the need to work on other priorities, including "restoring the prestige and strength of the state and support the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law, as well as the rehabilitation of the public education and its role as a social ladder."

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