More than 3,000 protestors gathered on Sunday near the Parliament, that has been frozen since last July, denouncing a “coup d'État” by the President of the Republic, who decided on 25 July to assume full powers.
Several deputies participated in the protests where slogans calling for press freedom, dignity, and independence of the judiciary were chanted. Jawhar Ben Mbarek, an expert in constitutional law, said: “Today, we have a political initiative. We have a model to overcome this crisis. This model is based on the right of Tunisians to vote in early presidential and legislative elections.”
A large police presence was deployed a few hours before the start of the protests. All access to the parliament building was blocked. Some testimonies, widely circulating on social media, said that the police even blocked entrance to Tunis.
It is worth noting that on 22 September, President Said issued a decree formalising the suspension of several articles of the Constitution and introducing “exceptional measures,” supposed to be temporary, the time to carry out “political reforms,” including amendments to the Constitution of 2014. Since then, he has legislated himself, frozen the functioning of parliament and the salaries of deputies, and presided over the Council of Ministers.