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US defense secretary expresses concern over Tunisia's democracy

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Tunis — U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said Tuesday that Tunisia's "dream of autonomy" was at stake, and the U.S.'s power over the president's expansion, which has already caused accusations of "unacceptable interference." Added criticism.

Tunisian President Kais Saied promoted the new constitution with almost unconfirmed power in a referendum last month that the election committee had a turnout of 30%, but some opposition parties The group states that the numbers have swelled.

After the referendum, US Secretary of State Antony Brinken and the next US Ambassador to Tunis Joey Hood expressed concern about Tunisian democracy, and Tunisian authorities summoned a US representative. And complained.

Washington has banished dictatorship ruler Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and introduced a democratic government system since the 2011 revolution, a key supporter of both development and security in Tunisia. was.

Tunisia is currently seeking a bailout package from the International Monetary Fund to avoid a financial collapse.

Austin repeated criticism at the US Africa Command ceremony on Tuesday.

"Across Africa, those who support democracy, freedom, and the rule of law are fighting dictatorship, turmoil, and corruption," he said.

"In Tunisia, where people have inspired the world with their demands for democracy, we can feel these headwinds," he added.

"The United States is committed to helping Tunisia, who is trying to build an open, accountable and comprehensive democracy, and our friends everywhere in Africa," Austin said. Said.

The United States Africa Command, headquartered in Germany, is responsible for all US Department of Defense operations, exercises, and security cooperation in Africa and the surrounding waters. (Report by Angus McDowall; edited by David Gregorio)