Tunisian president suspends parliament, dismisses PM

Tunisian president suspends parliament, dismisses PM

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Tunisia: Tunisian President Kais Saied announced Sunday the suspension of parliament and dismissal of Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi following a day of protests against the ruling party, which condemned the move as a “coup d’etat”.

Earlier on Sunday, thousands of Tunisians marched in several cities to protest against the Islamist-inspired Baath Party, criticizing what they called the negligence of the North African government and the severe coronavirus surge.

After Said announced the suspension of Parliament after an emergency meeting in his palace, the sound of car horns and fireworks filled the streets.

In Tunis, hundreds defied a coronavirus curfew to congregate on the capital’s roads.

“Finally some good decisions!” Maher, celebrating in the city’s northwest, told AFP.

Thirty-something Nahla, brandishing a Tunisian flag, was jubilant.

“These are courageous decisions — Saied is unblocking Tunisia,” she told AFP. “This is the president we love!”

Since Saied was elected president in 2019, he has been locked in a showdown with Mechichi and parliament speaker Rached Ghannouchi, a rivalry that has blocked ministerial appointments and diverted resources from tackling Tunisia’s many economic and social problems.

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