On Sunday evening, Tunisian President Kais Saied suspended the parliament and lifted the immunity of all its members. In addition, Saeed dismissed Prime Minister Hisham Mechichi from his position. The president announced that he would take over with the help of a new prime minister. The Ennahda party, in a statement on its Facebook page, denounced what it called a “coup against the revolution.”
Tunisian President Kais Saied has been locked in a conflict for months with the Ennahda Party, the largest party represented in the parliament. He decided on Sunday to freeze the Parliament and lift the immunity of its members, declaring that he will assume the executive authority. Saeed also dissmissed Prime Minister Hisham Mechichi from his position. The president added that he will take over with the help of a new prime minister.
President Said announced the freezing of all parliament’s work and the dismissal of Prime Minister Hisham Mechichi from his position, citing Article 80 of the constitution, which allows this type of measures in the event of “imminent danger.”
This transformation would undermine the young Tunisian democracy, which, since the ratification of the 2014 constitution, has operated according to a mixed parliamentary system in which the president’s powers are concentrated mainly in the areas of foreign policy and security.
On Sunday evening, the Ennahda party denounced the “coup against the revolution” after the decisions taken by the president. The party said in a statement on its Facebook page “What Kais Saied has done is a coup against the revolution and the constitution, and the supporters of Ennahda and the Tunisian people will defend the revolution.”
New York Center for Foreign Policy Affairs considers Tunisia an exemplary success story in terms of the democratic path. Protecting this exceptional status of Tunisia and its democratic gains is of great importance for the country and the whole region as well. We have no doubt that the Tunisian people, who have successfully passed many stages on their path to democracy, will also overcome this challenge.
New York Center for Foreign Policy Affairs refuses the suspension of the democratic process and the ignoring the democratic will of the Tunisian people. We condemn the attempts that lack constitutional legitimacy and popular support, and we trust that Tunisian democracy will emerge stronger. What happened in Tunisia is worrying, as the decisions of suspending the Parliament and its elected representatives from performing their duties are a coup against the constitutional system.
New York Center for Foreign Policy Affairs stands against coups anywhere in the world. We condemn the coup against the legitimate Tunisian government and the legitimate elected parliament and consider it a crime against democracy and humanity.