Tunisian president in life-threatening danger says interior ministry

Tunisian president in life-threatening danger says interior ministry
2 min read
Tunisia's president faces 'serious' threats to his life according to information gathered by the country's interior ministry.
President Kais Saied seized sweeping powers last year in what his critics called a coup [source: Getty]

Tunisia's interior ministry said on Friday it had information about serious threats to the life of the president and that it had foiled what it called a separate terrorist attack, adding to security concerns as the country faces a political crisis.

The ministry said both internal and external elements were involved in plans targeting the president. Spokesperson Fadhila Khelifi said in a news conference that "the goal was to undermine Tunisian public security".

In what the ministry said was a separate incident, an attacker was arrested after injuring two police after targeting them overnight "at a sensitive point in the capital", said Faker Bouzghaya, head of communications for the ministry.

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President Kais Saied's opponents accuse him of a coup for seizing most powers last summer to rule by decree and preparing a new constitution that he plans to put to a referendum next month.

Opposition to Saied's moves has broadened over recent months as nearly all major political parties as well as the powerful labour union have come out against his plans, holding street rallies against him.

However, while critics of the president say his moves have raised concerns over rights and freedoms won in the 2011 revolution that brought democracy, there has been no widespread crackdown on the opposition or wave of arrests.

Saied says his moves are legal and were needed to save Tunisia from years of political paralysis and economic stagnation.