Tunisians Protest, Calling on President to Step Down

Several thousand demonstrators rallied in the Tunisian capital on Sunday to protest against President Kais Saied’s seizure of power, calling on him to step down.

Saied this week brushed aside much of the 2014 constitution, giving himself power to rule by decree two months after he sacked the prime minister, suspended parliament and assumed executive authority.

“The people want the fall of the coup,” chanted the crowd on Tunis’s Habib Bourguiba Avenue, a focal point of the demonstrations that ended the rule of former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali on January 14, 2011. “Step down.”

Police maintained a heavy presence around the demonstration and set up barricades.

Saied has said his actions, which his opponents have called a coup, are needed to address a crisis of political paralysis, economic stagnation and a poor response to the coronavirus pandemic.

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