Tunisia President Dismisses Prime Minister And Suspends Parliament

Tunisian President Kais Saied has suspended parliament and dismissed prime minister Hichem Mechichi after a day of protests against the ruling party brought the country’s political crisis to a head.

Cheering crowds quickly flooded the streets of the capital Tunis after Saied’s announcement on Sunday, celebrating and honking car horns in scenes that recalled the 2011 revolution that brought democracy and triggered the Arab spring protests that convulsed the Middle East.

However, the parliamentary speaker, Rached Ghannouchi, decried the moves as a coup and an assault on democracy.

In the early hours of Monday, Ghannouchi, who is also head of the biggest party in parliament, the Islamist-inspired Ennahda, arrived at parliament where he said he would call a session in defiance of Saied.

But the army was stationed outside the building and stopped the 80-year-old former political exile from entering.

“I am against gathering all powers in the hands of one person,” he said outside the parliament building. He earlier called Tunisians to come onto the streets, as they had done on the day of the revolution in 2011, to oppose the move.

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