Tunisian President Kais Saied takes new powers, says will reform system

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Tunisian President Kais Saied has put in place special measures for wielding legislative and executive power, the presidency said on Wednesday, without elaborating.

It added that Saied would form a committee to prepare amendments to Tunisia’s political system and that he would maintain the suspension of parliament that he declared in July.

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Saied’s critics accused him of a coup in July when he sacked the prime minister, suspended parliament and seized executive authority, saying he would appoint a new prime minister.

Nearly two months on, he is widely expected to issue changes to the 2014 constitution installed after Tunisia adopted democracy in a 2011 revolution, but he has not yet done so.

He has also still to appoint a new prime minister after repeatedly saying he would do so soon, with a crisis looming in Tunisia’s public finances.

His announcements on Wednesday, issued by his office’s social media feed, added that he would continue working through all elements of the existing constitution that do not contradict the exceptional measures he has declared.

The leader of Tunisia’s Muslim Brotherhood Ennahda party Rached Ghannouchi told Reuters on Wednesday that President Kais Saied’s declarations meant canceling the constitution and the party would not accept that.

The presidency has said parliament’s activities will remain frozen, Saied will convene a committee to amend the political system and he will exercise special measures for legislative and executive powers.

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