Tunisian President Kaïs Saïed continues to expand his power.

After dismissing the government on July 25 and suspending parliamentary activities, he has now expanded his powers and at the same time suspended large parts of the constitution.

Saïed not only extended the "extraordinary measures" that had been in place for two months.

Hans-Christian Rößler

Political correspondent for the Iberian Peninsula and the Maghreb, based in Madrid.

  • Follow I follow

According to the Tunisian Official Gazette, Saïed also gave himself the right to enact “legal texts” by decree and to appoint the cabinet and determine its political direction and fundamental decisions.

The government will be directly subordinate to the president.

Since the dismissal of Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi in July, Saïed has not appointed a new head of government, although he has been announcing it for weeks.

The MPs whose immunity he has lifted will no longer receive diets and will not be allowed to return to parliament, which he had previously described as a “threat to the state”.

Saïed continues to give no time limit for this condition.

But he held out the prospect of a constitutional reform.

Experts should therefore revise the text from 2014 in order to "create a real democracy in which the people are really sovereign".

Until then, only the preamble to the constitution and all clauses that do not conflict with the executive and legislative powers he has seized will remain in force, the office of the president of the Reuters news agency said.

The Islamist Ennahda does not want to accept the measures

The chairman of the Islamist Ennahda party, President of Parliament Rached Ghannouchi, called the new decrees "equivalent to suspending the constitution". Ennahda, who had already viewed the measures of July 25 as a "coup", will not accept this. On Sunday, the “Citizens Against the Coup” initiative called for a protest rally in Tunis. There were demonstrations there last weekend by hundreds of opponents and supporters of the head of state. Supporters of Ennahda and the Islamist Karama movement called for the reinstatement of parliament. A large police presence separated the two camps.

At first, according to surveys, up to 70 percent supported the president's approach.

But in view of the concentration of power in his hands, critical voices are also increasing in other parties and in business circles.

At the same time, international pressure is growing on Saïed to quickly return to constitutional order.

As the highest-ranking representative of the Western partners, the EU foreign policy representative Josep Borrell was in Tunis two weeks ago.

Germany is one of the most important European donors.