Tunisia PM sacked after violent Covid protests

Tunisia PM sacked after violent Covid protests
Protesters erupted with celebrations at the news that the prime minster had been dismissed. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: After violent protests broke out across the country, the president of Tunisia has sacked the prime minister and suspended parliament.

Thousands of protesters, angry at the government’s mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic, had flooded onto the streets and clashed with police on Sunday.

Tunisian President Kais Saied has said he would take charge with help from a new prime minister, saying he intended to bring calm and stability to the country.

But opponents in Tunisia described his move a coup.

In a televised address after an emergency security meeting at his palace, Mr Saied said: “We have taken these decisions… until social peace returns to Tunisia and until we save the state.”

Late on Sunday night, protesters across the country erupted with celebrations at the news Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi had been sacked.

Thousands of people have been calling for parliament to be dissolved and had demonstrated against the ruling party in the capital Tunis and other cities, shouting “Get out!”.

Security forces blocked off parliament and streets around the central Avenue Bourguiba, which was the centre of anti-government protests during Tunisia’s 2011 revolution.

Police arrested several people and fired tear gas at protesters, with clashes breaking out in several other towns.

Protesters stormed the offices of the governing Ennahdha party, setting fire and smashing computers in its local headquarters in Touzeur.

The party denounced the attack, blaming “criminal gangs” who were trying to “seed chaos and destruction”.

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