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Tunisia president: 'Judiciary is free, media run by hidden system' 

Tunisian President Kais Saied in Tunis, Tunisia on 25 December 2019 [FETHI BELAID/AFP/Getty Images]
Tunisian President Kais Saied in Tunis, Tunisia on 25 December 2019 [FETHI BELAID/AFP/Getty Images]

Tunisian President Kais Saied asserted on Thursday: "Tunisia's judiciary is free, and it must apply the law. The media is run by the hidden system that still rules Tunisia."

This came in statements made by Saied while receiving Prime Minister Najla Bouden at Carthage Palace, according to footage broadcast by the presidency on its official Facebook page.

"Yes, the judiciary is free, and we are working to ensure that it is free, but the judiciary is not a state or government," Saied expressed. He also stressed that the judiciary is: "The state's justice and it must apply the law."

Is Tunisia's president Kais Saied like Louis XIV, King of France? - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

Is Tunisia's president Kais Saied like Louis XIV, King of France? – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

"The hierarchical authority granted by law to the Supreme Judicial Council is not to determine grants and privileges," Saied continued.

He posed the question: "What does it mean that a number of those who were stripped of immunity are not followed up? This situation must stop. Every one of us must take responsibility."

"For them, freedom means the freedom to insult, curse, and to control the media by a group of people work at night (to form a media agenda), which they take up the next day," Saied added.

On Thursday, the Supreme Judicial Council in Tunisia announced that its members would continue to carry out their duties regardless of President Saied's decree to limit their privileges.

On Wednesday evening, President Saied issued a decree to "limit the awards and privileges" granted to members of the Supreme Judicial Council.

The Supreme Judicial Council is a constitutional body concerned with monitoring the proper functioning of the judiciary and the exploitation of judicial power.

Commenting on Saied's decision, the head of the Supreme Judicial Council Youssef Bouzacher announced to Shems FM radio station: "We hope that this presidential order will not be a means of putting pressure on the Supreme Judicial Council. The council enjoys self-management in accordance with the provisions of the constitution."

Tunisia has witnessed a political crisis since 25 July, when President Saied imposed "exceptional measures", including suspending parliament, issuing legislation by presidential decrees, dismissing the prime minister and appointing a new government.

READ: Presidential decree limits privileges of members of the Superior Council of the Judiciary

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