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Tunisia president dismisses 2 advisers

A photograph of a television screen taken in Tunis, on September 20, 2021 shows Tunisia's President Kais Saied [FETHI BELAID/AFP via Getty Images]
A photograph of a television screen taken in Tunis, on September 20, 2021 shows Tunisia's President Kais Saied [FETHI BELAID/AFP via Getty Images]

Tunisian President Kais Saied yesterday issued two presidential orders dismissing two of his advisers.

The pair were named as Moez Al-Wartani, first adviser in charge of relations with constitutional institutions and civil society, and Maher Ben Rayana, first adviser in charge of social affairs.

Since 25 July, when 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, a large number of officials have been sacked.

Saied also announced the appointment of Najla Bouden Romdhane, a little-known professor of geophysics who implemented World Bank projects at the Ministry of Education, as prime minister.

This comes a week after he 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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