Tunisian parliament suspended after violent protests by COVID

Tunisian parliament suspended after violent protests by COVID

Trending News Tunisia’s 2011 revolution is often held up as the sole success of the Arab Spring. Under the country’s constitution, the president, prime minister and parliament all share power. The president controls foreign affairs and the military. Saied says he is allowed to suspend parliament if it is in imminent danger, but critics say he went against rules set out in the constitution, the BBC reported.

“We have taken these decisions … until social peace returns to Tunisia and until we save the state,” Tunisian President Kais Saied, who is an independent politician, said in a televised address announcing the suspension of the legislature on Sunday, according to BBC News. On Monday, troops surrounded the parliament building and prevented its speaker, Rached Ghannouchi, from entering, AFP reported.

Threat to democracy Protesters on Sunday called for the dissolution of the government and the firing of prime minister Hichem Mechichi. They threw stones, lit fires, and tried to storm the headquarters of Mechichi’s political party, Ennahdha. Police used pepper spray against demonstrators, according to the BBC.

Saied and Mechichi were embroiled in political disputes for over a year, and Saied had been threatening to fire Mechichi and dissolve parliament before Sunday’s move, Tunis-based journalist Rabeb Aloui told Al Jazeera. “What Kais Saied is doing is a state coup against the revolution and against the constitution, and the members of Ennahdha and the Tunisian people will defend the revolution,” the Ennahdha party said in a statement, according to the Al Jazeera. Ennahdha, which was banned before the 2011 revolution, has been the most consistently successful party since then, Al Jazeera said.

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