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News > Tunisia

The Tunisian Army Blocks Access to Parliament Building

  • The Army's units controlling the access to the Parliament building, Tunisia, Tunis, July 26, 2021.

    The Army's units controlling the access to the Parliament building, Tunisia, Tunis, July 26, 2021. | Photo: Twitter/ @ForcesTn

Published 26 July 2021

President Kai Said relied on Article 80 of the Constitution for ceasing the Lower House’s activities. 

On Monday, the Tunisian army blocked access to several lawmakers to the Parliament building after President Kai Said removed Prime Minister Hichem Mechich and cease the Lower House’s activities for 30 days for their mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Tunisians Celebrate Government Dismissal, Parliament Suspension

Lower House’s Speaker and the Ennahda Islamic party leader Rached Ghannouchi then staged a sit-in to condemn the military action. So far, the courts have adopted precautionary measures prohibiting him and all 64 lawmakers from leaving the country, which borders were also closed for unlimited time.

Ghannouchi described this decision as a "coup d'état against the revolution and the Constitution" and urged citizens to demonstrate peacefully to restore democracy.

However, for ceasing the Lower House’s activities, Said relied on Article 80 of the Constitution, which allows the President to take exceptional measures in imminent danger cases with the Parliament and Prime Minister consultation.

After meeting with the security forces’ leaders, Said claimed that his objective was to save the Tunisian people and ensure the regular functioning of public power, while the Constitutional Court, which has not been created since 2015, must supervise this process and decide on its extension.

The meme reads, "Protesters remove the Ennahda Islamic party’s poster in Susa city. This action has been repeated in more localities".

So far this year, the South African nation has been experiencing an institutional deadlock after the Parliament supported an executive branch’s reshaping, which the President refused to accept since he allegedly considered that the reshaping had not been consulted with the Governing Board.

The pandemic has also aggravated Tunisia’s economic crisis, which has forced the government to ask the international community for help to gain vaccines and medical equipment. Currently, the country deals with the fourth wave of COVID-19 disease, which has caused over 18,600 deaths.

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