News ID: 316405
Published: 0153 GMT September 18, 2021

Tunisians protest over president's seizure of powers

Tunisians protest over president's seizure of powers

Opponents of Tunisia's President Kais Saied take part in a protest at what they call his coup on July 25, in Tunis, Tunisia, on September 18, 2021.

Several hundred demonstrators gathered in Tunis on Saturday to protest against Tunisian President Kais Saied's seizure of governing powers in July, which triggered a constitutional crisis and prompted accusations of a coup.

The protesters gathered in the centre of the capital chanting "Shut down the coup" and "We want a return to legitimacy", while a few dozen Saied supporters held a counter demonstration chanting "The people want to dissolve parliament", Reuters reported.

The protest, accompanied by a heavy police presence, was the first since Saied declared on July 25 he was sacking the prime minister, suspending parliament and assuming executive authority.

Saied's moves were broadly popular in a country chafing from years of economic stagnation and political paralysis, but they have raised fears for the new rights and the democratic system won in the 2011 revolution that sparked the uprisings in the Arab countries.

Though the biggest party in parliament, Ennahda, initially decried his move as a coup, it quickly backed down and the period since Saied's intervention has been calm.

However eight weeks on, Saied is still to appoint a prime minister or declare his longer-term intentions.







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