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Tunisia’s President Dissolves Parliament, Accuses Body of Failed Coup

Tunisia’s president dissolved the county’s parliament, which has been suspended since last year. The decision announced on Wednesday by President Kais Saied comes after the parliament voted to repeal the decrees that he used to seize a number of powers in what critics have called a coup and was suspended by Saied in July.

In dissolving the parliament, Saied accused the body of a failed coup; he ordered investigations against lawmakers who met in an online session despite the continued suspension.

In July 2020, Saied fired the government and suspended parliament, and assumed executive authority. In September 2021, he announced that he would rule by decree. A month later, he appointed a new prime minister, and then approved a new cabinet of political neophytes, coming from academia or who were civil servants. Saied wants to amend the 2014 constitution, which he says he will then submit to a popular referendum.

The country earlier this month completed a national consultation process ahead of the drafting of a new constitution and the planned constitutional referendum, which will be followed by parliamentary elections, scheduled for July 25. The consultation process, called “Your opinion, our decision,” was a call to citizens to send suggestions for constitutional reforms on the topics of electoral, economic, financial, social, developmental, health, education and cultural affairs via electronic platforms and through local committees

Tunisia became a democracy in 2011 as part of the Arab Spring revolutions. Its democratic president and parliamentary form of government has experienced some difficulties. Saied was elected president in 2019.