The Tunisian Army Blocks Access to Parliament Building

President Kai Said realied on the Article 80 of the Constitution for ceasing he Lower House’s activities.

The Army’s units controlling the access to the Parliament building, Tunisia, Tunis, July 26, 2021. | Photo: Twitter/ @ForcesTn

On Monday, the Tunisian army blocked access to several lawmakers to the Parliament building after President Kai Said removed Prime Minister Hichem Mechich and cease the Lower House’s activities for 30 days for their mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lower House’s Speaker and the Ennahda Islamic party leader Rached Ghannouchi then staged a sit-in to condemn the military action. So far, the courts have adopted precautionary measures prohibiting him and all 64 lawmakers from leaving the country, which borders were also closed for unlimited time.

Ghannouchi described this decision as a “coup d’état against the revolution and the Constitution” and urged citizens to demonstrate peacefully to restore democracy.

However, for ceasing the Lower House’s activities, Said realied on the Article 80 of the Constitution, which allows the President to take exceptional measures in imminent danger cases with the Parliament and Prime Minister consultation.

After meeting with the security forces’ leaders, Said claimed that his objective was to save the Tunisian people and ensure the regular functioning of public power, while the Constitutional Court, which has not been created since 2015, must supervise this process and decide on its extension.

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