Tunisian President Saied Assumes Executive Authority

July 26, 2021 

Source: Al Mayadeen

Following the protests in Tunisia on Sunday, Tunisian President Kais Saied suspends the Parliament and dismisses Prime Minister Mechichi.

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Tunisian President Kais Saied

Al Mayadeen correspondent in Tunisia reported that Tunisian President Kais Saied chaired an emergency meeting at Carthage Palace, after which he decided to “assume executive authority,” following the return of protests across the country.

Our correspondent also reported that President Saied dismissed PM Hichem Mechichi and said  that his actions “are in line with the constitution.”

“What I’m currently doing is in line with the law. I cannot remain silent and stand idle. I must assume responsibility, and that I did,” said President Saied.

Moreover, Al Mayadeen correspondent said, “President Saied suspended the Parliament,” and “lifted immunity of all MPs.”

She also noted that there are reports about the arrest of prominent Tunisian figures.

Another correspondent reported that the military has been deployed in the Tunisian capital, Tunis.

Tunisian Parliament Speaker Rached Ghannouchi told Reuters that President Saied launched “a coup against the revolution and the constitution,” following his actions.

“We consider the institutions to be still standing, and the supporters of Ennahda and the Tunisian people will defend the revolution,” he added to the agency over the phone.

“What Kais Saied is doing is a coup d’etat against the revolution and against the constitution, and the members of Ennahda and the Tunisian people will defend the revolution,” said Ennahda Movement in a statement.

Ennahda MP Mohammed Al-Qumani said, “Prime Minister Mechichi is being held in the Carthage Palace.”

Ennahda held a press conference Sunday in light of the latest developments in Tunisia. Ali al-Arid, a prominent figure in the Movement, said: “We practiced self-restraint so we don’t respond to violence with violence. We rely on the state institutions.”

On Sunday, Al Mayadeen correspondent in Tunisia reported protests in front of Ennahda Movement’s headquarters in El Kef, “where protestors ripped the movement’s banners off the walls.”

On its part, Ennahda commented on the developments by saying, “Anarchist groups attacked some headquarters across the country.”

It is worth noting that protests are being held in several Tunisian governorates, including Tozeur, Kairouan, and Sidi Bouzid, near the Parliament. All these protests have the same slogan: the dissolvement of the Parliament and the stepping down of Mechichi’s government.

Tunisia President Dismisses Ministers

July 26, 2021 

Source: Al Mayadeen

After freezing the Parliament, the Tunisian President dismisses PM Hichem al-Mashishi and fires several ministers.

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Tunisian President Kais Saied in a local tour amid intense security reinforcement on July 25, 2021 (AFP)

Tunisian President Kais Saied issued an executive order to remove Prime Minister Hichem al-Mashishi from his office.

Saied also decided to fire Minister of Defense Ibrahim Bartagi and Minister of Justice Hasna Ben Suleiman.

Al Mayadeen correspondent reported that the roles and responsibilities of the municipal councils have also been frozen, and public clerks have been assigned to run their affairs.

According to Al Mayadeen sources, the Tunisian President has a tendency to dismiss all governors and hold some of them accountable.

Besides, local reports say that the Tunisian army will take over from governors with the activation of the summons against those wanted for justice.

Al Mayadeen correspondent also reported that a presidential decision that bans mayors, associations, sports missions and businessmen from traveling is in force.

What Is Happening in Tunisia?

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Following an emergency meeting at his palace, Saied dismissed the country’s Prime Minister Hichem al-Machichi and froze the Parliament for 30 days, late on Sunday. He also announced that he would assume the executive authority.

Saied also lifted lawmakers’ parliamentary immunity.

On his part, Tunisian Parliament Speaker Rachid Ghannouchi called on “the youth of the revolution,” the civil and political society, the army, the police, and others to “abstain from the participation in the confiscation of Tunisia’s achievements.”

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Rashid Ghannouchii accepted Soros medal that appeared to be the holy candlestick of the Jews,

The Parliament “cannot be suspended” and remains active, Ghannouchi added in a statement to the Washington Post, describing the President’s announcements as “invalid” and unconstitutional.

“The suspension of parliament is unconstitutional, illegal, and unfounded,” he stressed. 

However, Saied said that his actions are in line with a constitutional article that gives the president broad powers under exceptional circumstances.

Al Mayadeen correspondent reported that President Saied confirmed that all his decisions were made in consultation with the Prime Minister and the Parliament Speaker.

Tunisians Celebrate Saied’s Decision

“Several protestors remain in front of the Tunisian parliament building, condemning the latest events in the country”, according to our correspondent, who added that “Ghannouchi has left the vicinity of Parliament.”

Crowds cheering, honking, youyous – reactions to the Tunisian president’s decision to freeze Parliament and fire & take over from the prime minister pic.twitter.com/cmdGwB97MV— Layli Foroudi (@laylimay) July 25, 2021

At that time, protesters threw stones at Ghannouchi’s car, smashing its windows.

Meanwhile, local sources said Ghannouchi staged a sit-in to protest being barred entry to the Parliament.

Thousands of Tunisians across the country celebrated Saied’s decision late Sunday night, celebrating and waving Tunisian flags.

In the meantime, sources confirmed to Al Mayadeen that all representatives and state officials were prevented from traveling upon President Saied’s decision.

Muhammad Al-Qumani, a member of the Tunisian Parliament and a leader in the “Ennahda” Movement, said in a phone call with Al Mayadeen that the Parliament is called to convene naturally today, describing what is happening in Tunisia as a “coup.”

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One Response

  1. Noted. I continue not to understand the basis of these actions. Is it simply a manifestation of internal civil disagreements among different factions of the polity? I, as a foreigner, can’t decide which “side(s)” to back or not back! I do wish the Tunisian people and their societal structures and development well….

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