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Tunisia: president dissolves parliament 'to preserve the state'

Tunisia president dissolves parliament in a move his critics describe as a 'power grab'

Tunisian President Kais Saied announced on Wednesday that he has dissolved parliament, allegedly "to preserve the state," Anadolu has reported.

"Today, at this historic moment, I announce the dissolution of the Assembly of Representatives of the people, to preserve the state and its institutions," said Saied.

The announcement came hours after MPs held an online meeting during which they formally "annulled" the "exceptional measures" introduced by Saied on 25 July last year, when he dismissed the prime minister and "froze" parliamentary activities. His political opponents describe the move as a "coup" against the Constitution.

"This parliament [meeting] was held, and no one knows how it was held while it was frozen," the president told the National Security Council in Tunis. "I tell the Tunisian people: feel safe and be assured that the state's institutions are active and there is a nation ready to protect them from those who work as a group, not as a state."

In the wake of the parliamentary meeting, Justice Minister Leila Jeffal asked the Attorney General to open an investigation against members of the suspended parliament on charges of "conspiring against state security".

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