Two demonstrations at Avenue Habib Bourguiba in Tunis between opponents and defenders of July 25 measures 
18/09/2021 17:25, TUNIS/Tunisia

(TAP) - Demonstrators gathered on Saturday, in front of the municipal theatre in Tunis, to protest against the measures announced by the President of the Republic on July 25, 2021, including the suspension of the activities of the House of Peoples' Representatives and the dismissal of the Prime Minister.

Protesters demanded restoring the 2014 Constitution and lifting the freeze on the activities of parliament, accusing President Saied of having made "a constitutional coup and deviatng from the objectives of the Revolution."

They called for an end to the state of exception and a return to legitimacy, denouncing the imprisonment of MP Yassine Ayari and the circumstances of the execution, Friday, of the warrant issued against MP Seifeddine Makhlouf.

Demonstrators gathered amid an imposing police presence at Habib Bourguiba Avenue, held up signs accusing President Saïed of having turned into "dictatorship" and calling for a return to legitimacy.

Present on the scene, activist and constitutional law professor Jaouhar Ben M'barek told TAP no political party or organisation is behind this protestwhich is a citizen initiative, according to him.

This demonstration that comes to denounce the exceptional measures was expected against the constitutional coup and the democratic process. "It wants to send a message to the putschists, that the Tunisian street does not belong to anyone and that public opinion expresses divergent views," he said.

He added: The Constitution is the political and social contract that the head of state must respect.

Reforms and the fight against corruption can be carried out within the framework of the Constitution, and not through unilateral decisions, he pointed out.

Among those who have launched a call to demonstrate this Saturday against the decisions of July 25, 2021, former President of the Republic, Moncef Marzouki who was in favour of participating in this demonstration to denounce the "autocratic drift" of Kais Saied.

In parallel, demonstrators gathered on the other side of Habib Bourguiba Avenue to express their support for the decisions of President Kais Said, believing that "the exceptional measures will allow the process of the Revolution, to catch up a decade".

One of Said's supporters stressed in a statement to TAP his rejection of the system that governed the country between 2014 and 2021. The political alliances forged in recent years have damaged the political and parliamentary landscape in Tunisia, he regretted.

The Tunisian parliament, he said, has not fulfilled its role, that of identifying its solutions to the problems of Tunisians. It is mired in political-personal calculations negatively affecting its performance.

Kais Saied has repeatedly stated that the exceptional measures announced on July 25, 2021 fall within the Constitution of January 2014, and have nothing to do with a coup.

The President of the Republic on July 25 had announced "exceptional measures" namely the freezing of all activities of the parliament for a 30-day period and the lifting of the immunity of all deputies.

He also announced that he was dismissing Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi and taking over the executive powers with the help of the government, which will be headed by a PM he will appoint.

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