After ousting PM, Tunisian president also fires defense minister

Tunisian President Kais Saied fires the defense minister, a day after ousting the prime minister and suspending parliament, plunging the young democracy into constitutional crisis in the midst of a pandemic.

Street clashes erupt outside the army-barricaded parliament, after Saied dismissed Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi and ordered parliament closed for 30 days, a move the biggest political party Ennahdha decried as a “coup.”

Saied declared on Sunday that he had “taken the necessary decisions to save Tunisia, the state and the Tunisian people,” following street protests in multiple cities against the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The president, who under the constitution controls the armed forces, warns his opponents against taking up arms, threatening that if anyone “fires a single bullet, our forces will respond with a rain of bullets.”

Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed