Tunisia's largest party protests outside army-blocked parliament

Tunisia's largest party protests outside army-blocked parliament
1 min read
The president on Sunday evening announced that he had fired Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi and that he was suspending parliament for 30 days.
Ghannouchi led a sit-in protest on Monday in front of the legislature after the army blocked him from entering [Getty]

The head of Tunisia's Islamist-inspired Ennahdha, the largest party in parliament, led a sit-in protest on Monday in front of the legislature after the army blocked him from entering.

Rached Ghannouchi, who is also speaker of the legislature, had tried to gain access from 3:00 am (0200 GMT), hours after President Kais Saied suspended parliament and fired the prime minister, in a move decried by Ennahdha as a "coup d'etat".

Several hundred supporters of Saied also gathered in front of parliament on Monday, chanting slogans against Ennahdha and blocking followers of the party from reaching the building.

The two camps threw stones and bottles at one another, an AFP photographer said.

The president on Sunday evening announced that he had fired Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi and that he was suspending parliament for 30 days.

His controversial move comes after a prolonged period of deadlock between the president, prime minister and legislature, which has crippled management of a coronavirus crisis that has seen deaths surge to among the highest per capita rates in the world.

It also comes despite presidential powers being largely confined to security and diplomacy under a constitution that enshrines a parliamentary democracy.