Tunisians protest over president’s seizure of powers

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Tunisians protest on Saturday, against Tunisian President, Kais Saied’s seizure of governing powers in July, which triggered a constitutional crisis and prompted accusations of a coup.

The protest, accompanied by a heavy police presence, was the first since Saied declared on July 25, he was sacking the prime minister, suspending parliament and assuming executive authority.

The protesters gathered in the centre of the capital saying, “Shut down the coup and we want a return to legitimacy.”

The protests may provide an indication of how the security services, many of whose leadership are newly appointed by Saied, will handle public opposition to him.

“Police appeared to be treating both sets of protesters equally, standing between the two camps outside the ornate belle epoque theatre on Habib Bourguiba avenue.”

However, Saied’s moves were broadly popular in a country chafing from years of economic stagnation and political paralysis, but they have raised fears for the new rights and the democratic system won in the 2011 revolution that sparked the Arab spring.

He is still to appoint a prime minister or declare his longer-term intentions.

He has rejected accusations of a coup and his supporters have presented his moves as an opportunity to reset the gains of Tunisia’s revolution and purge a corrupt elite.

READ ALSO: Tunisia’s President indicates plans to change constitution

 

Kamila/Reuters

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