Tunisian president Kais Saied dismissed the country’s prime minister and froze parliament for 30 days on Sunday, in what some are calling a constitutional coup.
This came only after a day of protests across the country against the deepening social and economic crisis in the North African country.
Saied said his actions were in line with the constitution, and cited article 80 to suspend the immunity of members of parliament.
However, parliament speaker Rached Ghannouchi considered Saied’s decision ‘a coup against the revolution and constitution’.
The European Union has released a press release on the development, urging all political actors in Tunisia to respect the country’s constitution and avoid violence.
“We are closely following the latest developments in Tunisia,” a spokeswoman for the European Commission said.
“We call on all Tunisian actors to respect the Constitution, its institutions and the rule of law. We also call on them to remain calm and to avoid any resort to violence in order to preserve the stability of the country,” she said.
Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for the German foreign ministry, Maria Adebahr, told reporters that Germany hoped Tunisia would return “as soon as possible to constitutional order”.
For his part, Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov, said: “We hope that nothing will threaten the stability and security of the people of that country.”
In turn, Turkey’s foreign ministry said it was “deeply concerned” by the latest development in Tunisia and called for the restoration of “democratic legitimacy”.
These new developments came as the North African country is struggling to cope with the COVID-19 crisis, which has killed 18,000 people since the outbreak began.