Tunisian President Saied Fires Foreign Minister
Demonstration in support of the Tunisian Arab Spring protests takes place in Lyon, France, on Jan. 15, 2011. (WIkimedia Commons)

Tunisian President Saied Fires Foreign Minister

Tunisian President Kais Saied fired his foreign minister, the fourth government minister he has fired so far this year. Othman Jerandi on Tuesday tweeted: “Today, my duties as Minister of Foreign Affairs ended after 3 years, and, amid a delicate circumstance, my only aim was the supreme interest of Tunisia.” He is the most senior minister to lose his job; other government officials fired this year were the trade, agriculture and education ministers. No reason was given for his firing by the president’s office.

Jerandi will be replaced by Tunisia’s ambassador to Belgium and the European Union, Nabil Ammar.

Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported, citing a former Tunisian diplomat that said Saied was frustrated that he was not invited to meet with his US President Joe Biden during his December visit to Washington, though he met with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, and that he blamed Jerandi.

Tunisia had an 11% voter turnout a runoff round of parliamentary elections late last month. It is the same percentage of the electorate that turned out for December’s initial elections, which were boycotted by all opposition parties.

In July 2021, Saied declared a state of emergency, dismissed the government, suspended parliament, and ruled by decree until a new constitution was approved half a year ago, that concentrated power in the hands of the president, meaning that the parliament will have far fewer powers than in the past. Tunisia transformed into a country with democratic rule as a result of the 2011 Arab Spring, until Saied launched what is considered a “coup” by his opponents.

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