Tunisian President Saied indefinitely extends suspension of parliament

Tunisian President Kais Saied on Monday extended the suspension of parliament until further notice, the presidency said, after last month he removed his prime minister and assumed executive authority in a move that opponents called outright.

Saied also extended the waiver of immunity for members of parliament, the presidency said, adding that Saied will give a speech to the nation in the coming days, without giving further details.

A month after Saied’s sudden intervention, he has yet to appoint a new prime minister or announce a roadmap demanded by Western allies and key players in Tunisia, including the powerful UGTT Union.

Saied has said that his intervention was necessary to save the country from collapse. It appears to have broad popular support in Tunisia, where years of poor governance, corruption and political paralysis have been compounded by a deadly increase in COVID-19 cases.

But the president’s actions have raised concerns among some Tunisians about the future of the democratic system that the country adopted after the 2011 revolution that triggered the Arab Spring.

Since then, the authorities have placed several officials, including former ministers, under house arrest and have prevented politicians and businessmen from traveling.

Saied was overwhelmingly elected in 2019 and vowed to tackle corruption.


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