Tunisia stops woman MP's march to presidential palace

Tunisia stops MP Abir Moussi's march to presidential palace
2 min read
10 August, 2021
Tunisian security forces stopped outspoken MP Abir Moussi and her supporters on their march to the presidential palace.
Abir Moussi's party was banned from marching to the Presidential Palace [Getty]

Tunisian police on Tuesday stopped the head of the Free Destourian Party, Abir Moussi, and her supporters from holding marching torward the presidential palace in Tunis over a ban on her party's conference.

Security units held Moussi and members of her party for several hours at the Al-Karam junction as they marched towards Carthage Palace, the official residence and seat of the president.

The protest was to demand answers about why their party conference, scheduled for Thursday, was banned by authorities, according to The New Arab's Arabic-language service Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

In a Facebook live video, Moussi said she asked in a letter she wrote to the presidency, interior ministry, and the Tunis governor for a license to hold the conference in the capital, but the request was ignored.

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She accused President Kais Saied of "favouritism, restricting political freedoms and deviating from the will of the people".

Moussi said the security forces' actions were an attempt "to incite public opinion against her and her party to show them disrupting the public interest".

The anti-Islamist party leader said she risks her life every time she leaves her home and that Saied must be held responsible for any "harm, house arrest, imprisonment or threat of any kind" against her party members in the coming days.

Saied has purged a number of government ministers, officials and ambassadors since he sacked the prime minister and dissolved the parliament in a power grab on 25 July.

The move was described as a "coup" by leading politicians and activists in the country.

Moussi and her party are fierce opponents of Islamist parties in Tunisia, especially the prominent Ennahda Movement. 

Moussi was attacked during a parliamentary session last month by Islamist MPs Sahbi Samara and Seifeddine Makhlouf.

Earlier this year, Moussi wore a crash helmet and bulletproof vest in parliament in protest against acts of violence in the house, and in protest against a decision not to allow her bodyguards to accompany her.