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Tunisia: Ennahda says dissolution of parliament is violation of constitution

April 5, 2022 at 12:00 pm

Hundreds of Tunisians gather at Bardo Square near parliament to protest President Kais Saied’s power seizure in Tunis, Tunisia on 14 November 2021. [Nacer Talel – Anadolu Agency]

Tunisia’s Ennahda Movement has rejected President Kais Saied’s decision to dissolve parliament, describing it as a “flagrant violation of the constitution,” Al-Quds Al-Arabi has reported. The movement added that the prosecution of MPs who participated in an online parliamentary session last week is an attempt to “politicise” the judiciary to damage Saied’s political opponents.

“The parliamentary session on 30 March was legitimate under Chapter 80 of the Constitution,” explained Ennahda yesterday. “This stipulates that the House of the People’s Representatives [parliament] may remain in permanent session, and may not be dissolved.”

The movement said that the dismantling of the institutions of Tunisia’s democratic state and the consolidation of “absolute autocracy” has isolated the country from the rest of the world. “The doors of cooperation with other states and international institutions have been closed, and Tunisia’s financial and economic crisis, doubled unemployment, poverty, high prices and the inability to provide many basic materials have all been aggravated [by the president’s moves].”

The pressure placed on judges by the minister of justice to convict MPs and hurt them is, said Ennahda, an attempt to manipulate the judiciary for political purposes.

READ: Tunisian judiciary postpones hearing session for Ghannouchi, lawmakers in coup attempt case

The movement called on political and civil forces in Tunisia to stand together against all “political trials” to “confront a coup that is not only dismantling the state and undermining the gains of democracy and its institutions, but also pushing the country into isolation, famine and poverty.”

A number of legal professionals announced the formation of a body on Monday to defend the MPs who are facing serious charges, which may carry the death penalty, due to their participation in last week’s online session of parliament that approved the abolition of the “exceptional measures” imposed by President Kais Saied last July.