Tunisian President Kais Saied announced the dissolution of parliament on Wednesday. He does so eight months after suspending the work of parliament.
The dissolution is the result of a meeting of deputies whose work had already been suspended last year. Saied said the meeting was “a failed coup attempt” and a “plot against state security”.
The president then proceeded to dissolve parliament “to protect the state and its institutions”.
Saied sacked Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi in July last year and suspended the work of parliament, initially for 30 days. He also lifted the parliamentary immunity of deputies.
He then extended the measures, despite large-scale protests in the country. His opponents called these actions a coup, but Saied invoked the constitution. More recently, he has also advocated for reform of the judicial system.
Saied has received some popular support so far, but resistance has been growing lately. Ten days ago, thousands of opponents demonstrated. Experts fear that the civil protests could damage the country’s stability.
Tunisia is the only country to have experienced the transition to democracy following the Arab Spring in 2011. However, the country continues to struggle with an economic crisis, high unemployment and widespread corruption.
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