Tunisia president says opponents of power grab are 'insects'

Tunisia president describes opponents as 'insects', refuses to backpedal on power grab
2 min read
05 October, 2021
The Tunisian president said his country's new government would be formed 'without opportunists', lashing out at his opponents.
Saied said Tunisia was witnessing a 'historical' moment [Getty]

Tunisian President Kais Saied said on Monday evening that some factions in the country no longer had a place in Tunisia, labelling opponents as "insects".

Saied - who in late July effectively seized control of the country - made the comments after meeting with newly appointed Prime Minister Najla Bouden.

Bouden was selected as prime minister last month after Saied sacked former Prime Minister Hichem Michechi, suspended parliament, and assumed executive authority of the country.

On Monday, Saied lashed out at critics - in particular the Islamist-inspired Ennahda Party - rejecting their claims that his July power grab was a coup.

He said he would not go back on his decisions, warning that those who seek to "abuse" the Tunisian people would pay a heavy price and adding that he would not leave these "insects" lurking around.

After a meeting with the head of Tunisia’s supreme judicial council, Saied claimed that Tunisians wanted to "purify" their country and this could only be achieved through a transparent and "purified" judiciary.

He also alleged that "criminals" had infiltrated the judiciary - demanding authorities prosecute those he accused of being traitors - and had "conspired" against Tunisia with the help of foreign parties.

Saied said anew government would be formed "without opportunists and their ambitions" and claimed that 1.8 million Tunisians took part in Sunday's rally in support of the president.

"The will of the Tunisian people has been robbed by a hidden regime that wants to control the state, (but) we are not under anyone's tutelage, and our task is to achieve the will of our people," he said.