After firing the prime minister and freezing parliament, Tunisia's president has been accused of staging a "coup"
After firing the prime minister and suspending parliament, Tunisian President Kais Saied is accused of launching a "coup." Invoking the Constitution's emergency clause, Saied, 62, said in a statement that he would move to protect the country's "integrity, security, and independence."
The suspension of the government caused concern among foreign observers, especially among those who had previously lauded Tunisia as the lone success of the 2011 Arab Spring, with protesters transforming the old dictatorship into a constitutional democracy.
Tunisians have grown increasingly frustrated in the ten years since the dramatic 2011 revolution, as the democratic government has struggled to better their lives. COVID-19 instances have exploded in Tunisia, with over 18,000 people dying from the disease in the country of 12 million people. “Governments are failing, and the president is providing no leadership,” said William Lawrence, a professor at American University in Washington, DC.
Saied, a political outsider and independent known as "Robocop" for his stiff and formal manner of speech, was elected in a landslide in 2019.