Tunisian Parliament to Continue Working Despite President's Ban, Speaker Says

© REUTERS / JIHED ABIDELLAOUIA general view shows the parliament building in Tunis, Tunisia September 30, 2021.
A general view shows the parliament building in Tunis, Tunisia September 30, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.10.2021
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CAIRO (Sputnik) - Tunisia's parliament opened a new session on Friday, despite President Kais Saied's decision to freeze its activities, Speaker Rached Ghannouchi said Friday.
"October 1 is the first day of the third session of the parliament for the 2019-2024 period," Ghannouchi said in a statement received by Sputnik.
Tunisian parliament "convenes constantly," the speaker said and called on the lawmakers to resume work and "show steadfastness in the battle for the return of democracy."
Ghannouchi described the president's decisions as an indication of "a frightening concentration of power in the hands of one person" and urged Saied to cancel the state of emergency and start a national dialogue.
© REUTERS / JIHED ABIDELLAOUIParliament Speaker Rached Ghannouchi, head of the moderate Islamist Ennahda, poses during an interview with Reuters in his office, in Tunis, Tunisia, March 9, 2021.
Parliament Speaker Rached Ghannouchi, head of the moderate Islamist Ennahda, poses during an interview with Reuters in his office, in Tunis, Tunisia, March 9, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.10.2021
Parliament Speaker Rached Ghannouchi, head of the moderate Islamist Ennahda, poses during an interview with Reuters in his office, in Tunis, Tunisia, March 9, 2021.
During July's mass protests against the parliament and Ghannouchi's Islamist party Ennahda, the president suspended the work of the legislature for 30 days and dismissed Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi and several ministers. Saied said he was temporarily assuming the executive role and would soon appoint a new prime minister. On August 24, the president extended the parliament's suspension for an indefinite period.
Last Saturday, over 100 members of Ennahda quit over the mishandling of the crisis by the party leadership and inability to resist the "threat of despotism" that can be seen in the president's decisions.
On Wednesday, Saied instructed Najla Ramadan to form a new government. Ennahda called the decision unconstitutional and paramount to a coup.
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