Saied made the announcement during a “National Security Council” meeting he chaired, hours after MPs defied parliament’s suspension by holding a virtual session, during which they voted to cancel exceptional measures since decided by the president.
“I announce today, at this historic moment, the dissolution of the Assembly of People’s Representatives to preserve the State and its institutions and preserve the Tunisian people,” Saied said in a video released by the presidency.
After months of political deadlock, Saied, elected at the end of 2019, assumed full powers on July 25, dismissing the Prime Minister and suspending Parliament dominated by the Islamist-inspired Ennahdha party, his pet motive.
On September 22, the Head of State formalized his full powers through “exceptional measures” that extend the suspension of Parliament. They also allow him to legislate by decree, preside over the Council of Ministers and reform laws.
One hundred and twenty Tunisian deputies defied the suspension of Parliament on Wednesday by organizing a virtual session during which they voted to cancel the exceptional measures decided by Mr. Saied since July 25.
At the call of the Office of the Assembly of People’s Representatives (ARP), a body that brings together the Presidency of Parliament and representatives of the parties seated there, 120 deputies (out of a total of 217) participated in this online plenary, chaired by Tarek Fertiti, Vice President of Parliament, Independent.
The president of the ARP, Rached Ghannouchi, also the leader of the Ennahdha party, did not participate in this plenary session.
One hundred and sixteen parliamentarians voted in favor of a bill aimed at reversing exceptional measures taken by Saied, which they say are blocking the democratic process and establishing one-man rule in the country where the Arab Spring was born.
The deputies, including elected members of Ennahdha and independents, also called for the organization of early legislative and presidential elections to get out of the political and socio-economic crisis.