On Thursday, official Tunisian media reported that President Kais Saied issued a decision to dismiss the head of the Tunisian intelligence service, Zhou Longo, from his post, as well as a decision to appoint Reda Gharslawi as Minister of the Interior.
It is noteworthy that the appointment of Lazhar Longo as head of the Tunisian intelligence service, was last April by a direct order from Prime Minister Hisham Al-Mashichi, who was dismissed by Kais Saied as part of his coup.
In a speech this evening, Qais Saeed, who carried out a coup against the constitution since last Sunday, said that there are parties that are trying to divide and blow up the state from within.
He continued, “We will act with confidence that we derive from the popular mandate. Tunisia is above all and we will not allow anyone to undermine the state.”
The Tunisian president pointed out that the exceptional measures were carried out in accordance with the provisions of Article 80 of the Constitution, and that Tunisia is a state of institutions that work to serve its citizens, he said.
Reda Gharslawi, Minister of the Interior
Saeed also directed his speech to the new Minister of Interior, Reda Gharslawi, by saying: “I am keen on freedoms and human rights, and I ask you to ensure the continuity of the state.”
He continued, addressing Gharslawi: “I studied constitutional law for more than 3 decades, and your appointment comes out of respect for the provisions of the constitution in accordance with Chapter 80. There is no room for manipulating the state, dividing it, or exploding it from within.
On Sunday evening, Saeed had issued a decision to relieve Prime Minister Hisham Al-Meshishi from his post.
He also decided, during an emergency meeting of the military and security leaders, to “freeze the parliament’s work and lift the immunity of the deputies,” noting that this decision should have been taken months ago.
The Tunisian president added that he also decided to take over the executive power with the help of a new prime minister appointed by him.
The Tunisian president’s decisions come against the backdrop of violent protests that took place in many cities.
Saeed justified his “exciting” decisions by what he said was “the responsibility to save Tunisia,” stressing that the country “is going through the most dangerous moments, in light of the tampering with the state and its capabilities,” as he put it.
Hisham Al-Mashishi was physically assaulted before his dismissal
Tunisian sources close to the outgoing Prime Minister, Hicham Al-Mashishi, revealed that he was physically assaulted in the presidential palace before he agreed to resign from his position. According to the British “Middle East Eye” website.
The British website said that it was not possible to verify the nature of the injuries suffered by Al-Mashish, because he has not appeared in public until the moment since his dismissal by a decision of President Qais Saeed.
Read also: This message was delivered by America and France to the coup leader, Qais Saeed
The report stated that the 47-year-old’s injuries were “significant”, and one of the sources said that the man was hit in the face, and therefore did not appear in public.
Qais Saeed summoned Hisham al-Mashishi to the presidential palace
Al-Mashishi was summoned to the presidential palace on Sunday, where President Kais Saied dismissed him from his post and announced the suspension of parliament and his assumption of executive power after a day of tense anti-government protests.
Several Egyptian military and security officials were sent to Tunisia with the full support of Mohammed bin Zayed (the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi). According to the British website.
The security chiefs who escorted him to the palace reportedly had nothing to do with the plan, but the military knew about it.
Al-Mashishi has repeatedly rejected demands from the presidential palace to resign after disagreements over the appointment of four ministers.
Rached Ghannouchi, parliament speaker and leader of the Ennahda movement, avoided the recall scenario because he had just been released from hospital, where he was being treated for Covid-19 disease.
Middle East Eye revealed that a group of Egyptian officers were in the palace at the moment of the attack on Al-Mashishi.
Eyewitnesses revealed that Al-Mashishi raised his hands after the beating, agreed to resign, and later returned to his home, later denying that he was under house arrest.
According to the report, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi offered all the support that Tunisian President Said needed to carry out the “coup.”
Reportedly, the US administration was not satisfied with what Said was doing, but was reluctant to call the chain of events in the country a coup.
The sources confirmed that the Algerian President, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, informed Saeed and many politicians that Algeria would not accept Tunisia falling under the Egyptian political and military influence.
months in the making
Sunday’s moves closely follow a plan of action outlined by Saeed’s close advisers in May and published by Middle East Eye at the time.
The plan specified a purge or a wave of mass arrests that would take place after the announcement of what was referred to as the “constitutional coup.”
The document said that Saeed would declare a “constitutional dictatorship”, which the document’s authors say is a tool to “concentrate all powers in the hands of the President of the Republic.”
It then set goals to purge political opponents.
The document said key Prime Time Zone would be placed under house arrest. From the Ennahda movement .. Noureddine El-Beheiry, Rafiq Abdel Salam, Karim Harouni, Sayed Al-Ferjani, deputies of the Karama bloc, Ghazi Al-Qarawi, Sufian Tobal, businessmen, consultants. In the Prime Minister’s Court, etc. ”
Read also: Tunisia .. What will happen in the coming days?!
The presidency had initially denied the existence of the document, before Saeed himself admitted that he had read it. Then he claimed in televised statements that he could not be held responsible for the advice he received.
However, presidential sources told MEE that Saeed had instructed his officials to make a list of the targets of Prime Time Zone who could be arrested.
To pave the way for this, Said assumed control of both the civilian and military judiciary and declared himself a public prosecutor.
In a decree issued late on Tuesday evening, Said dismissed Brigadier General, Judge Tawfiq Al-Ayouni, who presided over the military courts.
The President also dismissed a number of senior government officials, including the Secretary-General of the Government, the Director of the Prime Minister’s Office, and a number of advisors.
However, these moves face institutional resistance, as the Supreme Judicial Council rejected Said’s decision to install himself as an effective senior legal officer in the government.
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