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G7 urge Tunisia to resume constitutional path, appoint new PM

President of the Republic of Tunisia Kais Saied at the Royal Palace on June 03, 2021 in Brussels, Belgium. [Olivier Matthys/Getty Images]
President of the Republic of Tunisia Kais Saied at the Royal Palace on 3 June 2021 in Brussels, Belgium [Olivier Matthys/Getty Images]

The ambassadors of the Group of Seven (the G7) countries yesterday called on Tunisian President Kais Saied to "appoint a new prime minister as soon as possible, and return to the constitutional path in which Parliament has a prominent role".

This came in a statement signed by the ambassadors of the United States, Germany, France, Britain, Japan, Italy, and Canada, and which was published on the official page of the British Embassy in Tunisia.

The  statement said: "We, the G7, reaffirm our continued commitment to partnership with Tunisia, as it is in the process of developing the necessary political, social, and economic structures in order to respond to the legitimate demands of the Tunisian people to achieve  better standards of living, in addition to establishing a system of governance characterized by integrity, effectiveness, and transparency."

"We urge a speedy return to a constitutional system in which an elected parliament plays a prominent role."

"We also stress the urgent need to appoint a new prime minister in order to form a capable government that can address the current crises facing Tunisia on the economic and health fronts, which would pave the way for a comprehensive dialogue on the proposed constitutional and electoral reforms."

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

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.

Saied extended the measures indefinately on 24 August and has not appointed a prime minister to date.

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