Tunisian President Fires Premier After Violent Protests

Tunisia’s president dismisses the country’s prime minister and halted parliament’s operations following violent protests over the country’s political and economic crisis.

Protesters erupted with celebration in the streets of Tunis after the late-night announcement.

President Kais Saied also lifted the immunity of all parliament members and said he would name a new prime minister in the coming hours to bring calm to the country. He used a special constitutional measure allowing him to assume executive power and freeze parliament for an unspecified period of time until normal institutional workings can be restored.

Thousands of people defied virus restrictions and scorching heat to demonstrate Sunday in the capital of Tunis and other cities.

The protests were called on the 64th anniversary of Tunisia’s independence by a new group called the July 25 Movement.

Security forces deployed in force, especially in Tunis where police blockades blocked all streets leading to the main artery of the capital, Avenue Bourguiba. The avenue was a key site for the Tunisian revolution a decade ago that brought down a dictatorial regime and unleashed the Arab Spring uprisings.

Police also deployed around the parliament, preventing demonstrators from accessing it.

On the coronavirus front, Tunisia has reimposed lockdowns and other virus restrictions because it’s facing one of Africa’s worst virus outbreaks.

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