According to the researcher, there is a “spirit of coup” in the president’s actions.
In Tunisia fear of what will happen to the country’s democracy when the president Kais Saied fired the prime minister Hichem Mechichin and suspended Parliament for 30 days on Sunday.
On Monday, Saied also announced the dismissal of defense and justice ministers, AFP news agency reported.
Protesters in support of the president have celebrated in the streets, but protesters in support of the ruling party Ennahda accuse the president of a coup.
There is a risk that supporters and opponents of the president will forcibly clash together, which would exacerbate the crisis, says University Lecturer in Social Anthropology Susanne Dahlgren From the University of Tampere.
Protesters have thrown bottles and rocks at each other and shouted insults. Police have in some places had to intervene in the protest.
According to Dahlgren, there are signs of a coup in the president’s actions, as the dismissal of the prime minister and the suspension of parliament did not take place quite in accordance with the constitution.
“However, Article 80 of the Constitution, which allows the President to concentrate power on himself in times of crisis, does not allow Parliament to be ousted. This is explained by the fact that Parliament is only 30 days out of the game. In fact, according to the Constitution, the President should have consulted the Prime Minister and the Speaker of Parliament in resolving the crisis, but now he has ignored both. In that sense, here is the spirit of the coup. ”
Parliament is chaired by the leader of the Ennahda party Rached Ghannouchi.
At the same time, supporters of the president also have reason to oppose the Ennahda party and rejoice in the prime minister’s kicks.
“The government has been unable to deal with the health and economic crisis. In Tunisia, for example, citizens have had to raise funds to bring ventilators and vaccines to hospitals, ”says Dahlgren.
The Tunisian Minister of Health was fired earlier because of a poorly managed corona epidemic.
Tunisia has been considered a success of the Arab Spring in the West, as the country has succeeded in sharing power through elections since the 2011 revolution.
However, in the Arab Spring mass protests, young Tunisians are calling for reforms to create jobs, better education and restore faith in the future. According to Dahlgren, these have not been achieved, as the country’s elite has mainly focused on ensuring that their own interests are preserved.
“The key issues for young people have not been resolved, so it was only a matter of time before young people set out again.”
In the last ten years, the country has had nine governments.
Ennahda is a moderate Islamist party that is part of the Muslim Brotherhood advocating Sharia law in other countries. In recent years, however, the party has sought to distance itself from the Muslim Brotherhood.
“Young people see that this conservative, kind of home-religion-homeland line that Ennahda represents is not what they want.”
Saied, who became a non-aligned candidate for president, is popular instead, in part because he is a populist.
“As is typical of a populist, he relies on the opinion on the streets when it suits him. In that sense, he is an unpredictable person. ”
The, where the actions of the president will eventually lead, it is impossible to say at this stage.
According to Dahlgren, the country could slip into an ever-deepening political crisis due to the violence. This is indicated by the president’s inner circle plan leaked in May, according to which the president intends to establish a “constitutional dictatorship” in the country.
However, there is other worrying information coming from the country. News channel The office in al-Jazeera, the capital of Tunis, was closed by police, AFP said. Police had told reporters that they were “following orders”.
Army-backed President Saied has also warned that if his opponents “shoot a single bullet, our troops will respond with rain of bullets”.
On Monday night, the UN urged the parties to refrain from violence.