Tunisian president assumes more powers over country in crisis

In this file photo taken from the television station of President Kais Saied on July 25, 2021, Presidnet Saied announces, the dissolution of parliament and Prime Minister Mechichi's government at Carthage Palace after a day of nationwide protest. (FETHI BELAID / AFP)

Tunisia’s president assumed the right to rule by decree and signaled plans to amend the constitution, strengthening his grip over the North African nation that’s facing a potential economic crisis.

President Kais Saied can now issue legislative texts by decree, according to the official gazette on Wednesday. His office also said he would assign a panel of experts to draft changes to parts of the country’s 2014 charter.

Tunisia’s President Kais Saied suspended parliament in late July, and his latest moves sparked immediate opposition

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Saied suspended parliament in late July, throwing the birthplace of the Arab Spring uprisings into a political crisis, and his latest moves sparked immediate opposition. An official from the Ennahda party, the biggest group in the frozen assembly, said the country had entered “a dangerous phase” of one-man rule.

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Tunisia is struggling to turn around the economy, with the political stasis delaying talks over a possible new International Monetary Fund program that could unlock badly needed financing and bolster investor confidence.

Saied, a constitutional law professor elected in 2019 on an anti-establishment platform, has maintained he’s taking steps to save the country and root out corruption, dismissing criticisms he staged a coup.

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