Tunisian president fires PM, freezes parliament after violent Covid protests

Tunisian President Kais Saied, who dismissed Prime Minister Hicham Mechichi and decided to freeze parliament and suspend lawmakers’ immunity for 30 days, also banned the Parliament Speaker and 64 lawmakers from leaving the country. On Monday morning, soldiers were deployed at state TV and in front of parliament building, preventing lawmakers’ access. The president said he would take over government duties with the help of a new prime minister still to be chosen and restore calm to the country. But opponents condemned his action as a coup. Demonstrators against the Mechichi government later set fire to the headquarters of his party, the Islamist Ennahda.

 

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