France 'concerned' over Tunisian President Kais Saied's sweeping new powers

France 'concerned' over Tunisian President Kais Saied's sweeping new powers
France expressed 'concern' over the recent actions of Tunisian President Kais Saied - who decided to dissolve the Supreme Judicial Council this month, and last year assumed sweeping new powers after sacking the government and suspending parliament.
1 min read
16 February, 2022
The 'dissolution of the High Judicial Council' was of particular concern to France, according to the French foreign minister [source: Getty]

France's Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Tuesday voiced concern after Tunisia's President Kais Saied gave himself sweeping powers over the judiciary in the former French protectorate.

Saied on Sunday officially replaced a judicial watchdog he had vowed to dissolve, and through a decree gave himself the capacity to block judicial appointments and sack judges.

"There have been a number of concerning actions by President Kais Saied. I'm thinking in particular of the dissolution of the High Judicial Council," Le Drian told the foreign affairs committee in parliament.

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Thousands protested in central Tunis on Sunday against what they said was another blow to their democracy.

Saied in July last year sacked the government, suspended parliament and seized a range of powers before moving to rule by decree, sparking fears for what had been seen as the only democracy to emerge from the Arab Spring uprisings.