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defying President Kaïs Saïed, the suspended Parliament announces a plenary session

Tunisian security forces guard the entrance to Parliament, October 2021.

The Tunisian Parliament announced on Monday March 28 the holding of a plenary session on Wednesday, thus challenging President Kaïs Saïed who suspended the chamber and assumed full powers in July 2021. The holding of this session was decided by the office of the Assembly of People’s Representatives, a body which brings together the Presidency of Parliament and representatives of the parties sitting there.

This office “decided to hold a general plenary session on Wednesday to examine the cancellation of the exceptional measures [décidées par le président Saïed] and another Saturday devoted to the dangerous financial and socio-economic situation”, according to a press release from Parliament. The latter, chaired by the leader of the Islamist-inspired Ennahda party Rached Ghannouchi, does not specify whether this plenary will take place in his headquarters, closed since the president’s coup, or online.

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After months of political deadlock, Mr. Saïed, elected at the end of 2019, assumed full powers on July 25, 2021 by dismissing the Prime Minister and suspending Parliament. On September 22, he formalized his coup with a series of “exceptional measures” which allow him to rule by decree.

The announced plenary session risks exacerbating the political crisis in the cradle of the “Arab Spring” at a time when the country is also facing a serious socio-economic crisis. Even before the announcement of this meeting, Mr. Saïed had hinted that he would have it banned, ironically telling the deputies that they could meet “in a space shuttle”.

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The World with AFP

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