Tunisia president dissolves parliament, extending power grab

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Tunisian President Kais Saied announced the suspension of the country's parliament. PHOTO | AFP

By Theodore Jones –

Tunisia’s President Kais Saied on Wednesday dissolved the country’s parliament and said MPs would be prosecuted, extending an eight-month power grab and intensifying the country’s political crisis.

He made the announcement at a meeting of the National Security Council, hours after parliamentarians held a plenary session online and voted through a bill against “exceptional measures” taken by Saied last year.

“Today, at this historic moment, I announce the dissolution of the Assembly of Representatives of the people, to preserve the state and its institutions,” he said in a statement carried on state TV.

He denounced parliament’s move as a “coup attempt” and said those responsible had “betrayed” the nation.

“They will be criminally prosecuted,” Saied said.

The former law professor, elected in 2019 amid public anger against the political class, on July 25 last year sacked the government, froze the assembly and seized wide-ranging powers.

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