Yesterday, Tunisia entered a new political phase with President Kais Saied’s decision to dismiss Prime Minister Hicham Al-Mashishi and the Ministers of Defense and Justice, freezing Parliament for a period of 30 days, and assuming the presidency of the executive authority with the help of a new prime minister under Chapter 80 of the Constitution, warning that the armed forces will face with bullets those who They are considering resorting to weapons, while thousands of Tunisians celebrated the president’s decisions, which they considered exceptional and came in response to a popular uprising that demanded the overthrow of the “Brotherhood Renaissance” movement and an end to its years of rule.
His convoy was stoned, and his supporters took to the streets to end what he described as a “coup against the revolution and the constitution.”
Tunisian President Kais Saied announced the dismissal of Prime Minister Hicham Al-Mashishi and the freezing of parliament’s work for 30 days, in a decision he said he should have taken months ago.
Later yesterday, Saeed also announced the dismissal of Defense Minister Ibrahim El-Beltagy and Minister of Justice Hasna bin Suleiman.
A decree issued by the presidency also stated that the general secretaries of the government were assigned to take over the administrative and financial affairs in the ministries.
Tunisian President Kais Saied stressed that the decisions he took regarding freezing parliament and dismissing the government are not a “coup”, calling on those who describe his recent decisions as a coup to review their lessons in law.
Said announced, after an emergency meeting he held at Carthage Palace with security officials, that he would personally assume the executive authority with the help of a government headed by the prime minister and appointed by the president of the republic. In his speech, Saeed warned, “I warn many who try to resort to weapons of one who fires a single bullet, and our armed, military and security forces will confront him with a barrage of bullets.”
Said said in a speech that Said gave to a number of Tunisians gathered in “Habib Bourguiba” Street, which he visited at dawn yesterday, that he “based on making the decisions he announced on Article 80 of the Tunisian Constitution, which enables him to take exceptional measures in case of danger,” adding that he “There is no room today for anyone to seek immunity, and we will not allow these people to attack the state and its symbols.”
He explained that, before announcing these decisions, he consulted the Prime Minister, Hisham Al-Mashishi, who met him directly, and Parliament Speaker Rashid Ghannouchi, who informed him by phone.
He added, “Although I dealt with them with utmost sincerity and respect, they conspire at night, and the responsibility requires that I bear it and will not leave Tunisia as an easy prey to be manipulated by these people,” stressing that he will not back down from the decisions he took and vowing that everyone who stole the people’s money will be held accountable.
Also later, the Tunisian President announced the imposition of a curfew in the country from seven in the evening until six in the morning, from yesterday, until August 27.
The Tunisian presidency also said in a statement posted on Facebook that President Kais Saied issued a decision to suspend work in central administrations, foreign interests, local groups and public institutions of an administrative nature for a period of two days, starting today, Tuesday, with the possibility of extending the decision.
The decision prohibits the movement of people and vehicles between cities outside curfew times, except to fulfill their basic needs or for urgent health reasons. The decision also prohibits any gathering of more than three people on the public road and in public squares.
Thousands of Tunisians went out in the capital, specifically in Bardo Square, in front of the Parliament headquarters and Habib Bourguiba Street, despite the curfew, to celebrate the decisions that were described as “exceptional and historic.” And banks, and revelers sounded car alarms, raised flags in the streets and chanted the official anthem. Tunisians published pictures on social media platforms showing policemen joining the celebrations that pave the way for the removal of the “Brotherhood” from power after 10 years of assuming the reins of power.
As helicopters hovered over the crowds supporting the president’s actions, people in the streets portrayed Ennahda as the reason Tunisia failed over the past ten years to overcome political paralysis and achieve prosperity.
The army was deployed in several areas to guard public facilities, including the parliament headquarters and the headquarters of public television.
In this context, hundreds of supporters of President Said, supporters of the “Brotherhood Renaissance” movement, were prevented from approaching their leader, Rashid Ghannouchi, who remained in a car in front of Parliament, and the two sides exchanged stones and bombs. Calm prevailed around the parliament building after Ghannouchi left in front of the parliament building.
Ghannouchi held a sit-in for hours in front of parliament and called on his party’s supporters to mobilize. “The Tunisian people will not accept autocracy again, we call on all political, civil and intellectual forces to stand with their people to defend freedom, as long as freedom is threatened, there is no value for life,” he said.
In a video clip posted on his official page, he said that Saeed “wants to transform the nature of the system from a democratic parliamentary system to an authoritarian individual presidential system.”
Ghannouchi confirmed that the president did not consult him before taking decisions based on Article 80 of the Tunisian constitution.
These developments came after popular protests yesterday, which roamed the capital and included all governorates to demand the overthrow of the ruling system, the dissolution of Parliament and the removal of the “Brotherhood” from power. Parliament’s powers, lifting the immunity of MPs, and relieving Prime Minister Hisham Al-Mashishi from his post.
In addition, a number of Tunisians stormed an office of the Ennahda movement, emptied it of documents and burned them in the city of Houmt on the Tunisian island of Djerba.
Tunisian media reported that “immediately after the decisions of the President of the Republic, Kais Saied, large crowds of Tunisians went to the center of the city of Houmt Souk to express their joy at these decisions.” She added, “Then they went to the office of the Ennahda Movement, stormed it, and took out the documents inside to be burned outside the office, and the office sign was removed.”