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Tunisia’s Ennahda says gangs backed by foreign parties vandalised its HQ

July 26, 2021 at 3:08 pm

Security forces take security measures around parliament building as supporters and opponents of coup gather in front of parliament building after Tunisian President Kais Saied announced late Sunday that he has fully assumed executive authority in addition to suspending parliament in Tunis, Tunisia on 26 July 2021. [Nacer Talel – Anadolu Agency]

Tunisia’s Ennahda movement said yesterday that “criminal gangs backed by parties outside and inside the country” attacked its headquarters, in order to overthrow the country’s democratic path and pave the way for the return of oppression and tyranny.

Activists held protests in the capital, Tunis, yesterday calling for an end to the political crisis in the country and the dissolution of parliament. Tunisia also marked 64 years since the proclamation of the republic yesterday.

Ennahda, which holds the largest parliamentary bloc, said in a statement that “on 25 July, anarchist groups that failed to convince public opinion of their populist and undemocratic options, attacked some of the movement’s headquarters in the country, and attempted to intimidate those inside it and threaten their lives.”

A video posted on social media showed groups of people storming and vandalising the movement’s headquarters in many governorates.

Ennahda condemned what it described as “criminal gangs backed by parties outside and inside the country’s borders” for attacking “the movement’s headquarters” and spreading “chaos and vandalism, in order to serve agendas that seek to overthrow the democratic path and pave the way for the return of oppression and tyranny.”

Tunisia is seen as the only Arab country that succeeded in carrying out a democratic transition during the Arab Spring in 2011.

Tunisia has been hit by a political crisis since January when Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi dismissed five ministers, known to be close to the president, and assigned other officials to the vacant posts in the interim period.

President Kais Saied accused Mechichi of “violating the provisions of the constitution”, and refused to allow the new officials to swear their oath ahead of taking up their posts.

Later, Saied also refused to seal a bill on the formation of the Constitutional Court, although it was approved by Parliament on two consecutive occasions.

Ennahda leader and Parliament Speaker Rached Ghannouchi said Saied does not have the power to refuse appointments after a vote of confidence was granted to them in Parliament, adding that his role is “symbolic“.

READ: Tunisia security storm Al Jazeera office, expel journalists