Conflicts & War

Tunisia’s Ennahda says ready to hold early elections

Tunis, Jul 27 (EFE).- The Ennahda movement, Tunisia’s largest political party, said on Tuesday it was ready to hold early elections to protect democracy in the north African country after the president’s decision to sack the prime minister and freeze parliament.

On Sunday, President Kais Saied announced he would be taking over executive power during the transition period with the help of a new prime minister that he would appoint to replace Hichem Mechichi.

“Ennahda notes with great concern the current insecurity and confusion that the illegal and unconstitutional coup has created in the country,” the Islamist party said in a statement.

 “It is now clear that President Kais Saied has worked with anti-democratic forces to nullify the constitutional rights of MPs and replace them with members of his own clique,” it added.

Following Saied’s move, Ennahda called on citizens to take to streets to protest what they decried as a “coup against the revolution.”

But Mechichi, who like Saied is a political independent, said late Monday in a letter posted on social media that he accepts his dismissal and will assist with a “peaceful transfer of power.”

Most of the political parties described Saied’s measures, which also included lifting immunity from all members of parliament, as a “coup.”

However, Saied said in a video of the meeting published by the presidency that it was an implementation of the constitution, citing Article 80 that gave the president the right to take exceptional measures in case of a grave danger.

The announcement by Saied, an ex-law professor who took office in 2019, came after violent protests had broken out on Sunday in several parts of the country to demand the government resign and the Parliament be dissolved amid deepening political, health and economic woes.

During the demonstrations, several offices of the Ennahda party were attacked and set on fire.

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