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Kais Saied: 'Tunisia needs respectful parliament and responsible government'

A general view of the Tunisian parliament in session in Tunis on 26 January 2021 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]
A general view of the Tunisian parliament in session in Tunis on 26 January 2021 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]

Tunisian President Kais Saied has asserted: "Tunisia needs a respectable national parliament and a fully responsible ministry (referring to the government)."

This came in a speech delivered by Saied during his participation in the commemoration of the 83rd anniversary of Martyrs' Day in Tunis on Friday morning.

Saied expressed: "Tunisia is in its sickbed and the doctor asks the pharmacist to bring the medicine. As for the medicine, it is a respectable national parliament and a fully responsible ministry."

The president indicated: "The harmony and continuity of state institutions take place in full respect for the purposes of the constitution, because it is not a tool for governing, but rather a means to achieve freedom and establish a positive balance between the authority and citizens."

On Saturday, Saied refused to ratify the Constitutional Court's law days after parliament passed amendments, including reducing the majority required to elect the court members from 145 to 131 deputies.

The Constitutional Court, a judicial body approved under the 2014 constitution, includes 12 members, four of whom are elected by Parliament, four are chosen by the Supreme Judicial Council and four others appointed by the president of the republic.

READ: Tunisia: President Saied presents 1936 caricature to deliver message to Mechichi, Ghannouchi

The court monitors constitutional amendment projects, treaties and draft laws and Parliament's internal system, assesses the legality of maintaining a state of emergency and decides on disputes relating to the presidency and government competencies.

The Tunisian Parliament could not elect three members to the Constitutional Court after choosing only one due to political differences, as each political bloc adheres to its candidate.

There has been a disagreement between Saied and Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi since 16 January, after the latter announced a partial government reshuffle. The president rejected this and refused to invite new ministers to take the constitutional oath, considering that the amendment was marred by violations.

Saied addressed the prime minister, who was present at the ceremony, urging him to revise the latest preventive measures, especially the curfew, and adapt it to the developments of the situation.

On Wednesday, Tunisian authorities increased the curfew hours from 7 pm to 5 am (previously 10 pm to 5 am), for the period of 9 and 30 April.

Several sectors in Tunisia, including the owners of cafés, shops and restaurants, rejected and demanded a revision of these measures, which will force them to close during Ramadan nights.

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