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Tunisia president sacks chiefs of security, national guard

August 19, 2021 at 2:19 pm

President of the Republic of Tunisia Kais Saied at the Royal Palace on 3 June 2021 in Brussels, Belgium [Olivier Matthys/Getty Images]

Tunisian President Kais Saied yesterday appointed Sami Al-Hichri as director-general of National Security and Shukri Riahi as commander of the National Guard, as part of changes he has been making in leadership.

The appointments were announced in a brief statement issued by the Presidency of the Republic, after Saied received Reda Gharselawi, who is assigned with running the Ministry of the Interior, yesterday afternoon at the Carthage Palace, according to the official news agency TAP.

On Tuesday, Saied said that everyone who thinks that “there will be a regression or a dialogue is delusional,” after his recent decisions to overthrow the government and the elected Parliament.

Saied added: “Whoever imagines that I will back down, let him go away with his road map and the dialogue that he thinks he can hold.”

“A government will be formed soon according to an approach that we seek to be an expression of the will of the Tunisian people, the path that the Tunisian people have taken.”

READ: What’s behind the ugly descriptions by Saied of those who disagree with him?

“Traitors are turning public opinion against Tunisia, and claim a dictatorship rules Tunisia,” he warned. “If there was a dictatorship, a different set of measures would have been taken. Did you see the gallows going up or people being shot to death?”

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.