Tunisian President Kais Saied’s rival has accused him of launching a ‘coup’ after he sacked Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi and suspended parliament.
Saied’s decision follows the violent protests that broke out in several Tunisian cities over the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economy.
“Many people were deceived by hypocrisy, treachery and robbery of the rights of the people,” he said in a statement.
“I warn any who think of resorting to weapons … and whoever shoots a bullet, the armed forces will respond with bullets,” he added.
The President also suspended the immunity of members of parliament, insisting his actions were in line with the constitution.
While some condemned the President’s move and described it as an attack on democracy, others rejoiced over it.
Tunisian Parliament Speaker, Rached Ghannouchi accused President Saied of launching “a coup against the revolution and constitution” after the development.
“We consider the institutions to be still standing and supporters of Ennahdha and the Tunisian people will defend the revolution,” Ghannouchi, who heads Ennahdha party, told the Reuters news agency via phone.
The party also condemned the president’s move as a “state coup against the revolution”.
“What Kais Saied is doing is a state coup against the revolution and against the constitution, and the members of Ennahdha and the Tunisian people will defend the revolution,” Ennahdha wrote in a statement on its Facebook page.