Backers of Tunisian president rally towards ‘coup’ accusations

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TUNIS, Oct 3 (Reuters) – Thousands of supporters of Tunisian President Kais Saied rallied within the capital on Sunday to indicate their backing for his suspension of parliament and guarantees to vary the political system, acts his critics name a coup.

The demonstration in central Tunis was referred to as in response to protests over the earlier two weekends in the identical location towards Saied’s actions. It is anticipated to far outnumber these gatherings.

Demonstrators waved Tunisian flags and carried placards railing towards Ennahda, the reasonable Islamist social gathering that’s the greatest in parliament and has acted as Saied’s foremost antagonist.

“We ask the president to dissolve parliament and hold accountable those who made the people suffer for a decade,” Salem Ajoudi, one of many demonstrators, mentioned.

The president plunged Tunisia right into a constitutional disaster in July by suspending the elected parliament, dismissing the prime minister and assuming govt authority.

Last month he brushed apart a lot of the structure to say he might go laws by decree, casting into doubt Tunisia’s democratic good points since its 2011 revolution that triggered the “Arab spring” revolts throughout the Muslim world.

Saied’s intervention adopted years of financial stagnation and political paralysis, aggravated by an impoverishing lockdown final yr, a slow-starting vaccination marketing campaign and avenue protests.

Many Tunisians blame these ills on a corrupt, self-interested political elite, they usually see Saied, an unbiased elected in 2019, as a champion for strange folks.

Among his supporters, Saied’s intervention is extensively considered a long-overdue reset of a democratic experiment that established pursuits pulled off track.

“Saied is a clean president who has come to restore real democracy,” mentioned Mongi Abdullah, a trainer from Mahdia who had come to affix the rally.

While opinion polls present Saied’s strikes have widespread assist, his lengthy delay in declaring a timeline out of the disaster has began to cement opposition to him.

Most of the political elite and the highly effective labour union UGTT say he should begin consulting extra extensively if he plans to amend the structure, as he has indicated he’ll.

Tunisian police on Sunday arrested a member of parliament and a tv presenter who’ve been outstanding critics of Saied since July, their lawyer mentioned. Neither the police nor military have been instantly out there for remark. learn extra

Reporting by Tarek Amara, writing by Angus McDowall, enhancing by Andrew Heavens

Supporters of Tunisian President Kais Saied rally in support of his seizure of power and suspension of parliament, in Tunis, Tunisia, October 3, 2021. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi

Supporters of Tunisian President Kais Saied rally in support of his seizure of power and suspension of parliament, in Tunis, Tunisia, October 3, 2021. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi

Supporters of Tunisian President Kais Saied rally in support of his seizure of power and suspension of parliament, in Tunis, Tunisia, October 3, 2021. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi