Tunisian protesters demand the return to constitutional government two months after the president took power

Several hundred protesters marched through central Tunisia on Saturday to demand the return of parliamentary democracy after a July takeover by President Kais Saied.

The march was heavily organized by security forces on the ground and an Interior Ministry surveillance drone overhead, AFP journalists reported.

Most of the protesters were supporters of the Islamist-inspired Ennahdha party, which formed the largest bloc in parliament before its dissolution by the president.

“The people want the coup to collapse,” the protesters chanted. “We want legitimacy.”

On July 25, Saied removed the government, suspended parliament, lifted legislators’ immunity, and took charge of all prosecutions.

Saied has renewed the measures for a second 30-day period and has yet to respond to requests for a roadmap to lift them.

“This is a demonstration to show that there are Tunisian men and women who reject the coup and the measures taken by President Saied,” said Jawhar Ben Mbarek, a prominent leftist among the protesters.

A few dozen Saied supporters staged a counter-demonstration.

Saied insists that his actions are guaranteed by article 80 of the constitution, which stipulates that the head of state can take “exceptional measures” in the event of an “imminent danger” to national security.

(AFP)

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