World, Middle East

Tunisians protest president’s ‘exceptional’ measures

Tunisian president suspended parliament, ousted government in July

Alaa Hammoudi   | 18.09.2021
Tunisians protest president’s ‘exceptional’ measures Tunisian protest against President Kais Saied during in the capital Tunis on September 18, 2021, denouncing the measures he introduced on July 25 and the extension of the state of emergency. - Saied on July 25 sacked the government, suspended parliament, removed lawmakers' immunity and made himself head of the prosecution. ( Yassine Gaidi - Anadolu Agency )

TUNIS, Tunisia

Hundreds of Tunisians demonstrated in the capital, Tunis, on Saturday to demand an end to President Kais Saied’s "exceptional" measures.

Several activists, politicians and human rights defenders took part in the protest, which took place in front of the Municipal Theater in Habib Bourguiba Avenue in central Tunis.

On July 25, Saied ousted the government, suspended parliament, and assumed executive authority. While he insists that his exceptional measures are meant to "save" the country, his critics accuse him of orchestrating a coup.

“No to coup against state institutions", “No to retracting from legitimacy” and “The power belongs to the people" were among banners waved by the demonstrators during Saturday’s protest.

An independent member of parliament, Ayyad Al-Loumi, who took part in the protest, told Anadolu Agency that the rally was a show of opposition to Saied’s “coup”.

"The basic request today is to end the coup, to end the exceptional measures, and to end the suspension of parliament," he said.

He added, "The coup against the constitution made the president isolated, and he cannot run the state on its own."

Amira, a protester, said she rejects the “circumventing of the constitution and the disruption of the functioning of state institutions."

Tunisia has been seen as the only country that succeeded in carrying out a democratic transition among Arab countries which witnessed popular revolutions toppling ruling regimes, including Egypt, Libya, and Yemen.

*Writing by Ibrahim Mukhtar in Ankara

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