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Tunisia’s president extends suspension of parliament

Kais Saied also extended the suspension of the immunity of members of parliament, as the moves have raised concerns among Tunisians about the future of the democratic system in the country.

In this October 23, 2019 file photo, Tunisia’s President Kais Saied takes the oath of office in Tunis, Tunisia. (Reuters)

Tunisia’s President Kais Saied extended the suspension of parliament until further notice, the presidency said, after last month dismissing his prime minister and assuming executive authority in a move opponents branded a coup.

Saied also extended the suspension of the immunity of members of parliament, the presidency said, adding Saied will give a speech to the nation in coming days, without giving more details.

A month after Saied’s sudden intervention, he has not yet appointed a new prime minister or announced a roadmap demanded by Western allies and key players in Tunisia, including the powerful UGTT Union.

Saied has said his intervention was needed to save the country from collapse.

But the president’s moves have raised concerns among some Tunisians about the future of the democratic system the country adopted after its 2011 revolution that triggered the Arab Spring.

Authorities have since placed several officials, including former ministers, under house arrest and prevented politicians and businessmen from traveling.

Ennahda party dissolves executive committee

Meanwhile, the executive committee of Tunisia’s Ennahda party has been dissolved by the decision of the party’s president, Rachid Ghannouchi, according to a party statement early on Tuesday.

“Following the Party president’s decision to restructure the Party’s executive committee, the president has ended the duties of all members of the committee and decided to form a new committee in accordance with the requirements of this phase and to achieve greater effectiveness,” the Media and Communications Office of the Ennahda Party, the largest in the Tunisian parliament, announced on Facebook.

Ghannouchi in a statement also thanked all outgoing members for “all their efforts in fulfilling their assigned duties” and called on them to proceed in fulfilling their duties until the new committee is formed.

“Party president reaffirms the continuation of the crisis management cell headed by Mohamed Goumani in order to contribute to efforts being made towards bringing Tunisia out of the exceptional circumstances it is experiencing,” it added.

What happened in Tunisia?

The ongoing social, economic and political crisis in Tunisia and the situation in the health system due to the coronavirus pandemic caused Tunisians to take to the streets in masses on July 25.

During the demonstrations, there was intense reaction to the settled politics in the country.

In some regions, the headquarters of the Ennahda Movement were also attacked.

On July 25, Tunisian President Kais 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.

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.

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