Tunisia’s President, Kais Saied Extends Suspension of Parliament

CORRECTING PHOTOGRAPHER BYLINE TO SLIM ABID – Tunisia’s President Kais Saied, center, leads a security meeting with members of the army and police forces in Tunis, Tunisia, Sunday, July 25, 2021. Troops surrounded Tunisia’s parliament and blocked its speaker Rached Ghannouchi from entering Monday after the president suspended the legislature and fired the prime minister following nationwide protests over the country’s economic troubles and the government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis. (AP Photo/Slim Abid)

Tunisian President Kais Saied has extended the suspension of parliament until further notice

President Kais 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 the coming days, without giving more details. 

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

He believes his intervention is needed to save the country from collapse. He appears to have widespread popular support in Tunisia, where years of misgovernance, corruption, and political paralysis have been aggravated by a deadly surge in COVID-19 cases. 

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But the president’s moves have raised concerns among some Tunisians about the future of the democratic system that 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. 

President Saied was elected in a landslide in 2019, vowing to stand up against corruption.  

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