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Senin, 23 Agustus 2021

Tunisian president extends suspension of parliament indefinitely - NEWS.com.au

On July 25, Saied invoked the constitution to grant himself greater powers, dismissing the head of government and freezing parliament for a month

Tunisian President Kais Saied has extended his suspension of parliament "until further notice", a month after sacking his prime minister and granting himself greater powers in a shock intervention that opponents decried as a coup.

In a statement issued by the presidency late on Monday, Saied also extended an order freezing immunity for lawmakers and said he would address the Tunisian people in the coming days, without providing further details.

On July 25, Saied invoked the constitution to extend his authority, dismissing the head of government Hichem Mechichi and freezing parliament, in what activists have called a "purge" that has seen opponents, judges and businessmen arrested or banned from travel.

Saied's intervention, which he said was necessary to prevent the country from collapse, sparked uncertainty for the North African nation.

While the president enjoys widespread popularity in Tunisia, his move has sparked fears in the international community that the cradle of the 2011 Arab Spring is regressing towards authoritarianism.

- Popular support -

Several politicians, businessmen and judges, as well as members of parliament -- who lost their immunity after Saied suspended the legislature -- have said they have been banned from travelling abroad or put under house arrest without warning.

A retired constitutional law professor, Saied has used Article 80 of the constitution adopted in 2014, which allows for exceptional measures if there is an "imminent danger" to national security, to justify his decision.

"But some people will have to answer to the judicial authorities before being able to travel."

He was voted into power in 2019 on the back of a campaign in which he pledged to fight corruption.

Shortly before Saied's latest announcement, the party announced the dismissal of its executive committee.

It is yet to react to Saied's extension of the parliament freeze.

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2021-08-24 03:12:01Z
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