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Tunisia president vows to cleanse political arena through legal means

A street remains silent after Tunisian President Kais Saied announced late Sunday that he has fully assumed executive authority in addition to suspending parliament in Tunis, Tunisia on 27 July 2021. [Arif Hüdaverdi Yaman - Anadolu Agency]
A street remains silent after Tunisian President Kais Saied announced late Sunday that he has fully assumed executive authority in addition to suspending parliament in Tunis, Tunisia on 27 July 2021. [Arif Hüdaverdi Yaman - Anadolu Agency]

Tunisian President Kais Saied yesterday said he would "cleanse" the political arena through legal means.

Speaking at the National Committee for Disaster Resilience at Carthage Palace, Saied said: "Some disasters are natural, including floods, fires and diseases, such as the coronavirus pandemic, and other catastrophes are man-made, and even amount to a crime."

"Some want to burn forests and fields, and our armed, military and security forces will confront them because they intend to harm the people."

For days, Tunisia has been witnessing forest fires, especially in the governorates of Bizerte, Jendouba and Kasserine, which destroyed hundreds of hectares of pine and oak trees.

Saied stressed that "the Tunisian people want to cleanse the country of all the dirt that has been stuck in it over decades, with the aim of purifying the sewage."

On 25 July, Tunisian President Kais Saied cited Article 80 of the constitution to dismiss Prime Minister Hicham Mechichi, freeze the work of parliament for 30 days, lift the immunity of ministers, and appoint himself as head of the executive authority until the formation of a new government.

This comes after violent protests broke out in several Tunisian cities criticising the government's handling of the economy and the coronavirus. Demonstrators had called for parliament to be dissolved.

The majority of the country's political parties slammed the move as a "coup against the constitution" and the achievements of the 2011 revolution.

READ: Tunisia's Ennahda ready for radical review of its policies to save democracy 

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