Messages condemning President Kais Saied’s Sunday decision to suspend the Tunisian parliament and dismiss the country’s prime minister, Hichem Mechichi, poured in from all corners of the world, with prominent organizations and political leaders condemning the move.
The International Union of Muslim Scientists (IUMS) rejected every “coup” in Tunisia and warned the Tunisian people to be careful of putschist traps. “We are against every coup, even if it is carried out by an Islamic group. Our legitimate position is clear, “IUMS Secretary-General Ali al-Qaradaghi said in a Twitter post after Saied announced late on Sunday that he had fully adopted the executive branch.
“Tunisia and its amazing people are too big and conscious to be swallowed up by the Putists and their followers,” al-Qaradaghi said. The Heart of Tunisia party on Monday condemned the dismissal of the Tunisian government and the shutdown of parliament as a “serious violation of the constitution”.
“The decisions taken by President Saied are a serious violation of the Constitution,” the party’s parliamentary bloc said in a statement. The party, which has 29 seats in parliament with 217 members, warned that Saied’s move risks dragging Tunisia into the era of “one-man rule.”
The party reiterated its commitment to legislation and institutions, adding that it “respects the legitimacy of the election and rejects any decision that is contrary to its institutional results.” It called on all parties to address the “legitimate demands” of the Tunisians and to avoid “false political battles.”
The party called on Parliament to immediately convene and the Prime Minister “to take his legitimate duties and to avoid creating a vacuum”, while calling on the country’s security apparatus to “protect the state and its institutions, the values and principles of the republic and ensure the security of the people.”
Yemeni Nobel Peace Prize winner Tawakkol Karman accused Saied of betraying his electorate and described his decision to dismiss the government as a “counter-revolution”.
“Kais Saied is just a coup plotter who betrayed his voters,” Karman said in a tweet. “What happened in Tunisia is just a counter-revolution that joins the group of counter-revolutions that Riyadh and Abu Dhabi did to overthrow the Arab Spring. revolutions, she said.
Saied said on Sunday that he had decided to waive the immunity of all MPs and take control of the public prosecutor’s office. The Tunisian president claimed that his decision was taken after consultation with Mechichi and Parliament Speaker Rached Ghannouchi.
Ghannouchi, for his part, described Saied’s move as nothing more than a “full-fledged coup” against the Tunisian constitution, revolution and freedoms in the country.
According to the Anadolu Agency (AA), Saied has assigned Khaled Yahyaoui, director general of the president’s security unit, to oversee the Interior Ministry after dismissing the government on Sunday, two security sources said.
Turkey said it was “deeply concerned” about the suspension of the Tunisian parliament, which represents “the will of the people”.
“Protecting the democratic gains and Tunisia’s unique position, which is an exemplary success story in the democratic process in line with the expectations of the people of the region, is crucial not only for Tunisia but also for the region,” the Foreign Ministry said in a written statement. “Within this framework, we want democratic legitimacy to be restored within the framework of the decrees of the Tunisian Constitution as soon as possible.”
It noted that Turkey believes that the Tunisian people will overcome this challenge and promised support.
“Turkey has no doubt that the Tunisian people, who have successfully navigated many challenges on the road to democracy, will also overcome the current test.”
The closure of the elected parliament in Tunisia and the dismissal of the government is a coup against political legitimacy, said spokesman Ömer Çelik from the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) on Monday.
“The illegal initiative of the Tunisian president has no constitutional basis,” Çelik wrote on Twitter. “Turkey and Tunisia have strong political, economic, cultural and humanitarian ties that go back in history. Turkey is on the side of the Tunisian people and respects the struggle for democracy. ”
Parliament Speaker Mustafa Şentop also commented on the development, saying: “The incidents in Tunisia are worrying. Decisions banning the elected parliament and its deputies from carrying out their duties are a coup against the constitutional system. ”
He stressed that military and bureaucratic coups are illegal everywhere, as is the case in Tunisia.
“The Tunisian people will protect their constitutional system and law.”
On Monday, the EU demanded respect for the constitution, the institutions and the rule of law.
“We are closely following the latest developments in Tunisia. We call on all Tunisian actors to respect the Constitution, its institutions and the rule of law,” Nabila Massrali, a spokeswoman for the European Commission, told AA. “We also urge them to remain calm and avoid resorting to violence to preserve the country’s stability,” she added.
Meanwhile, soldiers deployed in the parliament prevented Ghannouchi and accompanying lawmakers from entering the building. Police in riot gear stormed a rally on Monday, removing hundreds of protesters by truck. Both sides shouted and some threw stones, according to an Associated Press (AP) reporter and videos circulating online.
Former President Moncef Marzouki called for political dialogue and said in a Facebook video: “We took a big step back tonight, we are back to the dictatorship.”
German Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Adebahr said the government was “very concerned” about the events in Tunisia and was discussing with Tunisian authorities.
“We think it is important now to return to the constitutional order really quickly,” Adebahr told reporters in Berlin. She ended up calling it a coup but said the Tunisian president seemed to rely on a “fairly broad interpretation of the constitution” to defend the move.