Putsch in Tunesien
Tunisia's populist President Kais Saied announced Sunday the suspension of the country's parliament and the dismissal of Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi following a day of protests against the government's handling of the Covid-19 crisis but parliament speaker Rached Ghannouchi accused the President of seizing on the events to launch a "coup".
Saied announced the moves following an emergency meeting at his palace after thousands of Tunisians marched in several cities protesting about government failures in the North African nation and crippling coronavirus rates. (...)
Initials reports out of the capital Tunis suggest a violent night, with unknown mobs attacking Ennahda party offices and troops deployed. Unconfirmed reports say the airport and borders have been shut. For many observers in the Arab world tonight, these scenes are reminiscent of the Saudi- and UAE-backed purge against democratically elected Islamists in Egypt in the 2013 coup led by current President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi.
That purge ended up nipping Egypt's democracy in the bud.
President Saeid and other 'ancien regime' and populist elements in Tunisia have previously been accused of receiving political from the UAE, which has proclaimed 'political Islam' everywhere as its archenemy.
In April, it was reported that Kais Saeid was planning just such a 'soft coup', but it was denied at the time.