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Tunisia: President Saied dismisses 57 judges 

Tunisian labour party spokesman Hamma Hammami (C) is among demonstrators blocked by the police as they headed toward the headquarters of the electoral authority ISIE, during a rally against their president, in the capital Tunis, on June 4, 2022 [FETHI BELAID/AFP via Getty Images]
Tunisian labour party spokesman Hamma Hammami (C) is among demonstrators blocked by the police as they headed toward the headquarters of the electoral authority ISIE, during a rally against their president, in the capital Tunis, on June 4, 2022 [FETHI BELAID/AFP via Getty Images]

Tunisian President Kais Saied on Wednesday issued a presidential order to dismiss 57 judges. Saied vowed to issue a decree soon to reveal the names of judges he accused of: "Changing the course of some cases, disrupting investigations into terrorism files and committing financial and moral corruption."

On 12 February, Saied signed a decree relating to establishing the Interim Supreme Judicial Council replacing the Supreme Judicial Council, which he accused of lacking independence and prolonging the litigation period in certain cases.

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]

While he presided over a session of the Council of Ministers on Wednesday, Saied asserted that the charges brought against the judges are: "Disrupting the investigation completion of 6,268 terrorist files, failure to be impartial, exceeding powers and directing of investigations."

According to Saied, the charges also include: "Assisting a person suspected of being a terrorist and granting him Tunisian citizenship, complicity with what is known as the 'secret apparatus' and associating with political parties, financial corruption, bribery, extravagant enrichment and moral corruption."

Since 25 July, 2021, Tunisia has witnessed a severe political crisis when Saied imposed exceptional measures, including dismissing the government and appointing a new one, dissolving parliament and the Supreme Judicial Council and issuing legislation by presidential decrees.

Moreover, Saied decided to hold a referendum on a new constitution on 25 July, setting an early date for the parliamentary elections to be on 17 December and granting himself the right to appoint three of the seven members of the Independent High Authority for Elections, including its president.

OPINION: Is Kais Saied's incremental power grab failing to impress Tunisians?

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