Tunisian president dissolves Supreme Judicial Council

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Tunisian President Kais Saied said on Sunday he has decided to dissolve the Supreme Judicial Council, the body that deals with judicial independence, a controversial move that will spark a struggle over the judiciary.

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Saied’s decision caps months of his sharp criticism of the judges, when he repeatedly said he would not allow judges to act as if they are a state, instead of being a function of the state. Saied has frequently criticized the judiciary’s delay in issuing rulings in cases of corruption and terrorism.

Saied said the council has become a thing of the past, adding that he will issue a temporary decree to the council. He gave no details about the decree.

Saied, who dismissed the government and suspended parliament last July in a move that his opponents described as a coup, faces widespread criticism after he seized all power and rejected dialogue with all political parties.

The Supreme Judicial Council is an independent and constitutional institution that was formed in 2016. Its powers include ensuring the independence of the judiciary, disciplining judges and granting them professional promotions.

Last month, Saied revoked all financial privileges for council members.

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