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Tunisia condemns US Congress claims it's democracy is 'in danger'

New Foreign Minister Othman Jerandi (at the rostrum) takes oath as President of Tunisia Kais Saied (R) attends the swearing-in ceremony at the Presidential Palace of Carthage in Tunis, Tunisia on 11 October 2021. [Tunisian Presidency - Anadolu Agency]
New Foreign Minister Othman Jerandi (at the rostrum) takes oath as President of Tunisia Kais Saied (R) attends the swearing-in ceremony at the Presidential Palace of Carthage in Tunis, Tunisia on 11 October 2021. [Tunisian Presidency - Anadolu Agency]

Tunisian President Kais Saied yesterday expressed his country's dissatisfaction with US Congress discussions on democracy in the North African state.

In a meeting with the US Ambassador to Tunisia, Donald Blom, at the Carthage Palace, Saied "informed the US ambassador of his dissatisfaction with the inclusion of the situation in Tunisia on the agenda of US Congress."

"The President has indicated that relations between the two countries will remain strong, despite the fact that a number of Tunisians are trying to distort what is happening in Tunisia and trying to find people to hear them abroad," a Tunisian statement added.

On Tuesday, the United States, in the words of State Department spokesperson Edward Price, congratulated Tunisia on the formation of a new government, expressing its hope that this would "establish an inclusive path for a swift return to constitutional order."

However the US Congress Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa and Global Counterterrorism said democracy in Tunisia is in danger following a series of executive orders issued by Saied.

READ: Tunisia president threatens Moncef Marzouki with travel ban

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 appointed a prime minister on 29 September a new government has since been formed.

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