Tunisia Live Coverage and Updates

Tunisia Live Coverage and Updates
Tunisian President Kais Saied's suspension of parliament comes after a prolonged period of deadlock between the president, prime minister and legislature
6 min read
26 July, 2021

Tunisian President Kais Saied announced that he had suspended parliament and dismissed Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi late on Sunday.

Ennahda, the country's biggest political party, decried the move as a "coup d'etat".

Saied's suspension of parliament comes after a prolonged period of deadlock between the president, prime minister and legislature.

The news was met with both celebration and protest on the streets of Tunis and on social media.

Before Saied's announcement, thousands of Tunisians had marched in several cities protesting against Ennahda, a moderate Islamist party, criticising its government for failures in tackling the pandemic.

6:06 PM
The New Arab Staff

That's all from us at The New Arab's Tunisia live blog for today. Check in with us tomorrow for the latest news from the north African nation.

5:55 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Kuwaiti, Tunisian foreign ministers speak 

The Kuwaiti and Tunisian foreign ministers have spoken on the phone to discuss developments in Tunisia, the Kuwaiti foreign ministry says.

News of the phone call follows a statement from the Arab League urging Tunisia to move quickly through its current turbulence.


5:34 PM
The New Arab Staff

Tunisian president's actions have 'alarming implications': Human Rights Watch 

Human Rights Watch condemns the actions of Tunisian President Kais Saied, saying that they have "alarming implications for human rights".

"By suspending parliament, dismissing the prime minister and putting himself in charge of public prosecution, he has concentrated enormous power in his own hands," the rights group has said in a statement sent to The New Arab.

"He insists he is acting within his constitutional prerogatives but it’s always an ominous sign when the first thing that a head of state does after declaring a state of emergency is to go after journalists, as happened today with the raid on Al-Jazeera’s Tunis headquarters."


5:32 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

UN urges restraint in Tunisia: UN spokesperson

The United Nations called on all parties in Tunisia "to exercise restraint, refrain from violence and ensure that the situation remains calm," a spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Monday.

"All disputes and disagreements should be resolved through dialogue," UN spokesperson Farhan Haq said after Tunisian President Kais Saied ousted the government and froze parliament with help from the army.

Haq declined to comment on whether the United Nations viewed the situation in Tunisia as a coup or not.

5:01 PM
The New Arab Staff

Tunisian police seize journalists' equipment and phones, outlets say

News outlets say that their staff have had their phones and equipment confiscated by the Tunisian security forces.

Arabi21 says their reporter has had her phone seized, while ​Tunisie Numerique says that two of their staff have had their equipment and phones confiscated.

The Tunisie Numerique staff were stopped in the city of Bardo, west of the capital Tunis.

The police seized the equipment "even after they showed their work cards," the outlet said.

Security forces shut down the office of news outlet Al-Jazeera on Monday morning.

4:32 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Arab League asks Tunisia for quick return to calm

The Arab League says in a statement that it has urged that Tunisia return to "stability and calm" as quickly as possible.

The statement follows a phone call between Tunisian President Kais Saied and the Arab League's Secretary-General.

The Tunisian president told the Arab League of why he has made his recent decisions, the statement says.

Saied froze parliament on Sunday and has fired ministers, provoking both celebration and outrage among Tunisians.

3:20 PM
The New Arab Staff

Tunisian president speaks to Algerian counterpart 

Tunisian President Kais Saied has spoken on the phone to Algerian counterpart Abdelmadjid Tebboune, according to a press release from the Algerian president's office.

The statement makes no explicit mention of Saied freezing of parliament or firing of ministers; instead, it says that the two presidents discussed the "latest developments" in Tunisia, and bilateral relations.

2:45 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

European Union calls for Tunisian 'calm' 

A spokesperson for the European Commission says: "We are closely following the latest developments in Tunisia". 

"We call on all Tunisian actors to respect the Constitution, its institutions and the rule of law. We also call on them to remain calm and to avoid any resort to violence in order to preserve the stability of the country."

2:01 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Tunisian president to fire defence, justice ministers next: statement 

Tunisian President Kais Saied will next fire and replace the defence and justice ministers, he says in a statement.

Saied fired Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi and froze parliament on Sunday night.

1:12 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Qatar adds its voice to world concern over Tunisia 

Qatar is calling on all parties in Tunisia's political crisis to avoid escalation and move towards dialogue, the state-run Qatar News Agency says.

"Qatar hopes that Tunisian parties will adopt the path of dialogue to overcome the crisis," QNA cites a foreign ministry statement as saying.

Germany, Russia, and Turkey have all voiced their concern over the Tunisian president's firing of the prime minister and suspension of parliament on Sunday night.

12:40 PM
The New Arab Staff

Press freedom group condemns storming of Al-Jazeera's Tunis office 

Press freedom organisation Reporters Without Borders is condemning the storming of news channel Al-Jazeera's office in the Tunisian capital by police.

"RSF denounces the closure of @AlJazeera's office in #Tunis by security forces & calls on the authorities to respect #PressFreedom freedom and pluralism," the organisation says on Twitter.

Al-Jazeera's office was stormed on Monday morning, a day after Tunisian President Kais Saied fired the prime minister and suspended parliament.

12:11 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Foreign governments voice concern over Tunisia turmoil

Governments are voicing grave concern over events in Tunisia, after the president's dismissal of the country's prime minister and suspension of parliament for 30 days.

Turkey's foreign ministry said it was "deeply concerned", and called for the restoration of "democratic legitimacy".

A spokesperson for the German foreign ministry said Berlin was "very worried" about what had happened, but added: "We don't want to speak of a coup d'etat".

At a daily briefing, Russian presidency spokesperson Dmitri Peskov told reporters: "We hope that nothing will threaten the stability and security of the people of that country". 

11:41 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Tunisian army deploys to govt building, stops workers entering

Tunisian military has deployed to the government palace in the Kasbah in Tunis and stopped government workers from entering the building, several of them said.

11:38 AM
The New Arab Staff

Al-Jazeera TV says Tunisian police storm its office

Television channel Al-Jazeera says that Tunisian police has stormed its bureau in the capital Tunis, expelling all of its staff.

11:33 AM
The New Arab Staff

Thank you for joining us today on our live coverage of the latest developments from Tunisia, after the country’s president suspended elected parliament and dismissed the country's prime minister in what opponents have called a coup.