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Tunisia President Kais Saied accused of coup amid clashes

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Tunisia’s essential political events have accused the president of staging a coup after he sacked the prime minister and suspended parliament.

Kais Saied says he acted in accordance with the structure.

The transfer adopted Sunday’s violent mass protests over the federal government’s dealing with of the coronavirus outbreak and the financial and social turmoil.

Late on Monday, dismissed PM Hichem Mechichi mentioned he would hand his powers to whoever is appointed by Mr Saied.

In an announcement, Mr Mechichi mentioned he didn’t need to play the position of a “disruptive component”.

His feedback got here amid rising calls from the worldwide group for restraint.

The UN mentioned “all disputes… ought to be resolved by way of dialogue”, whereas the EU urged all sides concerned to respect the rule of legislation and keep away from violence.

There have been related appeals from the Arab League, Russia and Qatar. The US expressed its concern in regards to the newest developments.

Clashes amongst Mr Saied’s supporters and opponents continued on Monday within the capital Tunis.

They threw stones at one another exterior the legislature, which has been barricaded by troops.

Mr Saied, an impartial who was elected in 2019, has had a long-standing feud with Mr Mechichi, who has the backing of the most important celebration in parliament, the average Islamists Ennahda.

The president has additionally sacked the defence and justice ministers.

Tunisia’s revolution in 2011 is usually held up as the only success of the Arab Spring revolts throughout the area – nevertheless it has not led to stability economically or politically.

The current spike in Covid circumstances has fuelled long-standing public frustration. The well being minister was sacked final week after a bungled vaccination drive.

‘Till social peace returns’

On Sunday, hundreds of individuals throughout Tunisia demonstrated towards the PM and Ennahda.

The celebration’s native headquarters within the south-western metropolis of Touzeur had been set on fireplace.

In a televised tackle, Mr Saied mentioned: “Now we have taken these choices… till social peace returns to Tunisia and till we save the state.”

He vowed to reply to additional violence with navy power.

Within the early hours of Monday, the speaker of parliament, Rached Ghannouchi, who leads Ennahda, tried to get into the legislature. When he was blocked by Mr Saied’s supporters, he and his personal loyalists staged a sit-down protest.

In a while Monday, Al-Jazeera TV, which has been seen as sympathetic to Ennahda, mentioned safety forces had raided its places of work in Tunis, unplugging all tools and telling workers to go away.

Protesters in Tunis, Tunisia. Photo: 25 July 2021

Protesters erupted with celebrations on Sunday on the news that the prime minister had been dismissed

Acute energy battle

Evaluation by Rana Jawad, BBC North Africa correspondent

To many, it appears like contemporary hope after a 12 months of chaotic governance – to others, a transfer that’s constitutionally questionable, with doubtlessly destabilising ramifications and far-reaching penalties.

The occasions are largely linked to an acute energy battle between the presidency, the PM and the speaker of parliament.

Was this an influence seize by the president or a brief transfer to get the nation again on monitor? And can his political opponents mobilise their very own help on the streets? In that case, to what finish?

Key to how all this performs out shall be how rapidly a brand new prime minister is appointed – and a brand new plan communicated on transferring ahead.

President Saied and Mr Mechichi have been in battle for a very long time.

Mr Saied has mentioned he’ll now govern alongside a brand new PM, with parliament suspended for 30 days.

He cited the structure as backing for his actions, however the authorized framework is unclear.

As the most important celebration in parliament, Ennahda has the suitable to appoint the PM.

Covid flare-up

Coronavirus-related deaths reached a report for the nation final week, passing 300 in a single 24-hour interval. Tunisia has one of many highest per capita dying charges on this planet.

Vaccinations have been gradual: solely 7% of the 11.7 million inhabitants are absolutely vaccinated.

The federal government lately tried to hurry up vaccination by opening it to all over-18s – however the effort descended into chaos, with stampedes, shortages of provides, and incidents of violence.

The Charles Nicole Hospital in Tunis, Tunisia

The well being service is beneath severe pressure coping with surging Covid hospitalisations

Covid is just one issue within the unrest. Tunisia has had 9 governments because the 2011 revolution, a lot of them short-lived or fractured.

Deep-rooted issues of unemployment and crumbling state infrastructure that had been behind the rebellion have by no means been resolved.

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