Hundreds of Tunisians honked and cheered in celebrations on Sunday night after mass protests led to President Kais Saied announcing the suspension of the country's parliament and the dismissal of Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi.
Videos sent to Al Arabiya showed hundreds of people taking to the streets on foot and in vehicles chanting “Tahya Tounes” or “Viva Tunisia.”
Watch: Police release tear gas not far from the Islamist #Ennahda party building in downtown #Tunis as crowds celebrate the president sacking the government and suspending parliament.#TunisiaProtests https://t.co/JC5JfcvxI0 pic.twitter.com/VTKhzycHw9— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) July 26, 2021
Thousands of protesters clashed with security forces on Sunday during a day of violent protests against the government and the Islamist-led Ennahda parliament in anger over their handling of the coronavirus pandemic and deteriorating economic situation.
Tunisia's president decided on Sunday to freeze the Tunisian parliament, suspend the immunity of all members of parliament, and dismiss Prime Minister Mechichi from his post following mass protests in several Tunisian cities.
He added that he will assume the presidency of the executive authority with the assistance of a new prime minister.
Tunisian Parliament Speaker Rached Ghannouchi accused Saied of “overthrowing the revolution.”
Crowds of people flooded #Tunis to celebrate the news that Tunisia's President #KaisSaied dismissed the government and froze parliament, in a move that dramatically escalated a political crisis, but that his opponents called a coup.#Tunisiahttps://t.co/JC5JfcvxI0 pic.twitter.com/KfLh4rQ7Bg— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) July 26, 2021
In Tunis, police used pepper spray against protesters who threw stones and shouted slogans demanding that Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi quit and parliament be dissolved over their handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Witnesses said rallies numbering several hundred also gathered the cities of Gafsa, Sidi Bouzid, Monastir and Nabeul. Demonstrators in Sousse tried to storm the local headquarters of the biggest party in parliament, Ennahda. In Touzeur, protesters set fire to the Ennahda headquarters.