Tunisia’s president, Kais Said, decided to dissolve parliament on Wednesday after a group of 124 deputies held an online meeting via the Zoom application, repealing the extraordinary measures the president had implemented on July 25 .
The president, who has been accumulating legislative, judicial and executive powers since July, made the decision as a first measure to block the application across the country. And then he announced the dissolution of Parliament by broadcasting a video. “We should save the state from partition. We will not allow this aggression against the state to continue,” he announced in a video quoted by the Reuters agency.
Said is a 64-year-old jurist with no previous political experience, who won the 2019 presidential elections with 72.71% of the votes compared to 27.29% for his rival. The former professor of constitutional law was in favor of reviving the system to return democracy to the people and combat corruption. But the powers of the President were limited to defense policy, foreign affairs and national security. On 25 July, he temporarily suspended the functions of Parliament based on a much-discussed interpretation of an article of the Constitution that deals with extraordinary situations. At the time, 76.8% of Tunisians supported the presidential measure, according to the Sigma polling company, the most solvent in the country. But gradually, Sayid lost allies as he acquired more and more powers.
Critics intensified on the social network this Wednesday. said Banarabia for the Maghreb, responsible for the NGO International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) tweeted: “The Constitution is very clear. Parliament cannot be dissolved during the event of an exception, as regulated in Article 80. (…) The President does not have the constitutional right to suspend it. Article 80 was used by Said while suspending Parliament in July. Dozens of tweets this Wednesday underscored that article’s phrase, which said “the President of the Republic cannot dissolve the House of Representatives.”
The Minister of Justice, Lesla Jaffel, announced that prosecutors had launched a judicial inquiry against deputies meeting online, accusing them of conspiring against the state.
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