Tunisia President Dismisses Ministers

After freezing the Parliament, the Tunisian President dismisses PM Hichem al-Mashishi and fires several ministers.

  • Tunisian President Kais Saied tours Habib Bourguiba Street amid intense security and military reinforcements on July 25, 2021 (AFP)
    Tunisian President Kais Saied in a local tour amid intense security reinforcement on July 25, 2021 (AFP)

Tunisian President Kais Saied issued an executive order to remove Prime Minister Hichem al-Mashishi from his office.

Saied also decided to fire Minister of Defense Ibrahim Bartagi and Minister of Justice Hasna Ben Suleiman.

Al Mayadeen correspondent reported that the roles and responsibilities of the municipal councils have also been frozen, and public clerks have been assigned to run their affairs.

According to Al Mayadeen sources, the Tunisian President has a tendency to dismiss all governors and hold some of them accountable.

Besides, local reports say that the Tunisian army will take over from governors with the activation of the summons against those wanted for justice.

Al Mayadeen correspondent also reported that a presidential decision that bans mayors, associations, sports missions and businessmen from traveling is in force.

What Is Happening in Tunisia?

Following an emergency meeting at his palace, Saied dismissed the country’s Prime Minister Hichem al-Machichi and froze the Parliament for 30 days, late on Sunday. He also announced that he would assume the executive authority.

Saied also lifted lawmakers’ parliamentary immunity.

On his part, Tunisian Parliament Speaker Rachid Ghannouchi called on “the youth of the revolution,” the civil and political society, the army, the police, and others to “abstain from the participation in the confiscation of Tunisia’s achievements.”

The Parliament “cannot be suspended” and remains active, Ghannouchi added in a statement to the Washington Post, describing the President’s announcements as “invalid” and unconstitutional.

“The suspension of parliament is unconstitutional, illegal, and unfounded,” he stressed. 

However, Saied said that his actions are in line with a constitutional article that gives the president broad powers under exceptional circumstances.

Al Mayadeen correspondent reported that President Saied confirmed that all his decisions were made in consultation with the Prime Minister and the Parliament Speaker.

Tunisians Celebrate Saied’s Decision

"Several protestors remain in front of the Tunisian parliament building, condemning the latest events in the country", according to our correspondent, who added that “Ghannouchi has left the vicinity of Parliament."

At that time, protesters threw stones at Ghannouchi's car, smashing its windows.

Meanwhile, local sources said Ghannouchi staged a sit-in to protest being barred entry to the Parliament.

Thousands of Tunisians across the country celebrated Saied’s decision late Sunday night, celebrating and waving Tunisian flags.

In the meantime, sources confirmed to Al Mayadeen that all representatives and state officials were prevented from traveling upon President Saied's decision.

Muhammad Al-Qumani, a member of the Tunisian Parliament and a leader in the "Ennahda" Movement, said in a phone call with Al Mayadeen that the Parliament is called to convene naturally today, describing what is happening in Tunisia as a "coup."