Tunisia’s Prime Minister is leaving his large parliament

On Monday, most of Tunisia’s political parties and parliamentary blocs blocked President Kais Saied’s decision to suspend parliament and oust the government.

On Sunday, Saied fired Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi, froze parliament and adopted the executive with the help of a new prime minister.

The Ennahdha Movement, which has 53 seats in parliament with 217 members, rejected Saied’s move and considered them contrary to the Tunisian constitution.

Rached Ghannouchi, head of Ennahdha and speaker of the Tunisian parliament, described Saied’s move as nothing more than a “full-fledged coup” against the Tunisian constitution, revolution and freedoms in the country.

Qalb Tounes, or the heart of Tunisia, considered his decision an “obvious violation of the constitution” that would reduce the country to an “autocracy”.

The party, which has 29 seats in parliament, expressed its commitment to the rule of law, its institutions and the constitution.

The current Democratic Party rejected Saied’s interpretation of Article 80 of the Constitution, according to which he dismissed the government and repealed Parliament.

The party, which has 22 seats in parliament, said it “rejects the results of decisions and procedures taken in violation of the constitution.”

Al Karama, or Dignity Coalition, which has 18 parliamentary seats, also condemned Saied’s decision to activate Article 80, calling it a coup.

The Tunisian Workers’ Party, which is not represented in parliament, also condemned Saied’s moves and saw them as a clear violation of the constitution.

The Republican Party, which is also not in Parliament, expressed similar sentiments.

Some parties support Saied’s move

The popular current party, which is not represented in the Tunisian parliament, took a stand in Saied’s decision and considered them “an important step in opening a political horizon for the (Tunisian) people to regain the country.”

The People’s Movement Party, which has 15 parliamentary seats, said Saied acted in accordance with the constitution to preserve the country’s security.

Quiet parties

As of Monday afternoon, a number of Tunisian parties had not commented on the latest developments in the country.

They include the Free Constitutional Party (which has 16 seats in parliament), the Tahya Tounes party (10 seats), the Machrouu Tounes party (three seats) and the Afek Tounes party (two seats).

Meanwhile, Mechichi announced late Monday that he would hand over his duties when the president appoints a new premiere.

He released a statement on the latest developments in Tunisia on his social media account.

Mechichi said he would not play a hindering role in complicating the situation in Tunisia. Mechichi noted that he will not take a position because he protects the security and rights of all Tunisians and said that he will continue to serve his country in any case.

Tunisia has been gripped by a deep crisis since January 16, when Mechichi announced a change of government but Saied refused to hold a ceremony to swear in the new ministers. The country is also facing an unprecedented spread of COVID-19 strains in most states.

Tunisia is seen as the only country that managed to carry out a democratic transition among Arab countries that also witnessed popular revolutions that overthrew their ruling regimes, including Egypt, Libya and Yemen.


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