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News > World

Tunisians Celebrate Government Dismissal, Parliament Suspension

  • Citizens express their jubilation at the possibility of a secular state in Tunisia, July 25, 2021.

    Citizens express their jubilation at the possibility of a secular state in Tunisia, July 25, 2021. | Photo: Twitter/ @lucdebarochez

Published 26 July 2021

President Said's actions appear to be aligned with the political aspirations of those citizens who want a secular State.

On Sunday, thousands of Tunisians took to the streets to celebrate President Kais Said's decision to dismiss Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi and suspend Parliament. Advocates of the existence of an Islamic State, however, denounced the consummation of a constitutional coup d'état.


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Although authorities decreed a curfew, citizens took to the streets of Tunis City to celebrate late into the night. One of them explained to the international press that the President's decision is a response to popular demands because "we do not want an Islamist state but a secular state. We want our country back".

As of midnight, the airspace and sea borders were closed for an unlimited period and army units were deployed around the Parliament, the seat of the Government, and other important public buildings. Outlet Tunisie Numerique reported that the judicial authorities issued a ban on leaving the territory against the Parliament President and leader of the Islamist Ennahda party, Rached Ghannouchi and his 64 lawmakers.

President Said announced the dismissal of the head of the government, the suspension of the Parliament for 30 days, and the immediate withdrawal of parliamentary immunity of all lawmakers "to restore social peace and save the State and society".

Ghannouchi described this decision as a "coup d'état against the revolution and the constitution" and urged citizens to demonstrate peacefully to restore democracy. The leader of the Islamist coalition Al Karama also described the move as illegal and called on lawmakers to return to their seats as of Tuesday to recall president Said. During the last 24 hours, several regional headquarters of the Ennahda party were assaulted and set on fire.

Said will assume the presidency of the Executive with the help of a new Prime Minister, to be appointed by him, during the transition period and defended the use of Article 80 of the Constitution, which states that in case of "imminent danger" the President can take "exceptional" measures after consultation with the head of the Government and the Parliament Speaker.

According to this article, the aim is to ensure a regular functioning of the public power "as soon as possible" while the Constitutional Court, which has not been created since 2015, must supervise this process and decide on its extension.

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