Middle East

Republican Party slams Tunisian president’s ‘coup’ against constitution

Tunisian president ousts government, suspends parliament in move deemed as coup by opponents

Yousri Ouannas  | 26.07.2021 - Update : 27.07.2021
Republican Party slams Tunisian president’s ‘coup’ against constitution

TUNIS, Tunisia

Tunisia’s Republican Party on Monday denounced President Kais Saied’s decisions to dismiss the government and suspend parliament as a “coup” against the country’s constitution.

On Sunday, Saied ousted the government of Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi, froze parliament, and assumed the executive authority with the assistance of a new prime minister.

“We reject these decisions, which are…a clear coup against the constitution, and a return to the absolute one-man rule,” the party said in a statement.

The party called on the Tunisian president to reverse his decisions, “adhere to legitimacy and search for solutions to the country’s crisis within the democratic mechanisms and the constitution”.

In his Sunday’s speech, Saied said he will suspend the immunity of all members of parliament and take control of the general prosecutor’s office. He claimed that he has taken the decisions after consulting Mechichi and Parliament Speaker Rached Ghannouchi.

Ghannouchi, for his part, described Saied's moves as nothing but a "full-fledged coup" against the Tunisian constitution, revolution, and freedoms in the country.

Tunisia has been gripped by a deep crisis since Jan. 16, when Mechichi announced a cabinet reshuffle but Saied refused to hold a ceremony to swear in the new ministers. Tunisia also faces an unprecedented spread of the COVID-19 strains in most states, causing a rapid spread of the virus.

Tunisia is seen as the only Arab country that succeeded in carrying out a democratic transition among other Arab countries that also witnessed popular revolutions that toppled the ruling regimes, including Egypt, Libya, and Yemen.

*Bassel Barakat contributed to this report from Ankara.

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