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Graphic shows brief timeline since Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution.


Tensions in Tunisia after president suspends parliament

July 26, 2021 - Tunisia’s President Kais Saied invoked the constitution to oust the government of Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi and freeze parliament for 30 days in a move his critics call a coup.

Protesters celebrated President Saied’s decision late Sunday night with shouts of joy, honking of horns and waving Tunisian flags. But his critics accused him of a power grab, and the North African country’s overseas allies expressed concern that its young democracy might be descending again into autocracy.

Tunisia, which ignited the Arab Spring in 2011 when protests led to the overthrow of its longtime autocratic leader, is often regarded as the only success story of those uprisings. But democracy did not bring prosperity: Tunisia’s economy was already flailing before the pandemic hit, with 18% unemployment, and young people demanding jobs and an end to police brutality protested in large numbers earlier this year. The government recently announced cuts to food and fuel subsidies as it sought its fourth loan from the International Monetary Fund in a decade, fuelling anger in impoverished regions.

PUBLISHED: 26/07/2021; STORY: Graphic News