Tunisia president's 'purge' continues as Washington ambassador is dismissed

Tunisia president's 'purge' continues as Washington ambassador is dismissed
Tunisia's president sacked his country's ambassador to the US on Tuesday.
1 min read
04 August, 2021
The dismissal of Tunis' ambassador to the US comes amid Saied's purge on state officials [Getty Images]

Tunisian President Kais Saied dismissed his country's ambassador to Washington on Tuesday, as his purge of government and state officials continues.

Ambassador Nejmeddine Lakhal, previously Tunisia's ambassador to India, was ordered to return home following a presidential decree on Tuesday.

Saied has purged a number of leading officials from the Tunisia government since his power grab on 25 July, starting with the prime minister.

The governor of Sfax, Tunisia’s second-most populous province, was also sacked on Tuesday.

Saied, last month, dismissed Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi and suspended parliament in a major setback for Tunisia, considered by many to be the Arab world's only functioning democracy.

He also ordered a graft crackdown targeting 460 businessmen and an investigation into alleged illegal funding of political parties. Other Islamist MPs have also been arrested.

Many in the country, including the Ennahda Party, the largest party in the parliament, considered Saied’s decisions to be a "coup".

The move plunged Tunisia deeper into political turmoil, adding to the crippling economic crisis as well as a wave of Covid-19 infections.