The Tunisian army this morning barred Parliament Speaker Rached Ghannouchi from entering Parliament, while President Kais Saied was seen celebrating his decision to freeze the government.
Hours after Saied announced that he would freeze parliament and sack the government, Ghannouchi and several MPs walked towards the parliament building, but were prevented from entering by the military.
“I am the speaker of parliament and we are elected members of parliament,” news agencies reported. “We are prevented from exercising our legislative authority.
He added: “We are shocked that the military is being used for this job – closing the door to democracy. The Tunisian people refuse to return to autocracy and authoritarianism.
Ghannouchi called on army officers to unite with the people and defend their revolution and their freedom “as we have entrusted to them”.
He reiterated that the sessions of parliament will continue as planned, in line with decisions taken by parliamentary blocs later, calling on all blocs and currents to unite to defend the parliament and the constitution.
Meanwhile, Saied was seen on Habib Bourguiba Street with his supporters celebrating the removal of the government and the freezing of parliament.
“I am not doing a coup,” he said, warning that “those who insult the head of state would bear full responsibility in court.”
He also announced that he would take over the prosecution in order to prosecute those implicated in bribery and corruption.
“What happened was not a coup,” he said, wondering, “How could this be a coup when it was based on the law? I carry the principles of the revolution and the slogans of the revolution: work, freedom, dignity and patriotism. “
READ: Tunisia‘s exit from the crisis