Tunisia’s New Parliament Commences First Plenary

Tunisia's New Parliament Commences First Plenary (News Central TV)

Tunisia’s new parliament, elected in December and January in a vote with a turnout of 11%, sat for the first time on Monday with the opposition coalition saying it would not recognise its legitimacy.

Independent journalists were barred from attending the opening session of parliament for the first time since the 2011 revolution. Only state TV and radio and the state news agency were allowed to cover the event.

Tunisia's New Parliament Commences First Plenary (News Central TV)

President Kais Saied suspended the former parliament in July 2021, moving to rule by fiat in a move that opposition parties called a coup. He has said his actions were guided by law and intended to save the nation from implosion.

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Under the constitution written by President Saied and ratified by a referendum with a low turnout of 30%, Tunisia’s new parliament will wield limited power compared to its predecessor. Most of its members are independents since parties largely boycotted the election and candidates ran without party affiliation.

The National Salvation Front, the primary opposition alliance comprised of Ennahda, Tunisia’s largest party, and activists, declared on Monday that it would not acknowledge a parliament arising from a coup resulting from elections shunned by the majority of citizens.

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