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Scores of Tunisia lawmakers reject president's new appointments

Tunisian protest against President Kais Saied during in the capital Tunis on September 18, 2021, denouncing the measures he introduced on July 25 and the extension of the state of emergency [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]

Tunisian parliamentarians yesterday expressed their rejection of the exceptional measures taken by President Kais Saied, calling for the resumption of parliamentary work to get out of the crisis the country is facing, local reports have said.

The deputies called for a general meeting and to resume the work of parliament in order to start establishing new legislative elections. They said they consider that "all exceptional measures are void, and are nothing but the foundation of an individual dictatorship."

Saied has held nearly total power since 25 July when he sacked the prime minister, suspended parliament and assumed executive authority citing a national emergency.

The 73 deputies called on Saied to "retreat from the exceptional measures, return to the constitution, and to pursue dialogue between all political and societal actors."

This came hours after the Tunisian presidency announced the appointment of Najla Bouden Romdhane as prime minister.

READ: Tunisia: political action against presidential decisions hope to prevent collapse of the state

Last week Saied suspended most of the constitution, saying he could rule by decree during an "exceptional" period with no set ending, calling into question democratic gains after Tunisia's 2011 revolution that triggered the Arab Spring protests.

Critics say Saied is strengthening the powers of the presidency at the expense of parliament and the government, and wants to change the country's system of government to a presidential one. They decried his actions as a "coup against the constitution".

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