Tunisian President Kais Saied has suspended parliament and dismissed Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi, deepening a months-long political crisis. The parliamentary speaker slammed the move as a coup and called on people to protest.
But in the immediate aftermath of the announcement, those taking to the streets hailed the president's decision as long overdue.
Jubilant crowds were excited to hear the news.
They blame the current government for a crippling coronavirus outbreak and bleak economic conditions.
At the Presidential Palace, Saied said he will temporarily rule using his executive power before installing a new Prime Minister.
The suspension of parliament will last 30 days, and will also lift the immunity from prosecution that politicians enjoy. Parliament is plagued by allegations of corruption.
Leaders from the ruling party called the move a state coup, committing to defend their hold on power.
It follows widespread protests all over Tunisia, where demonstrators demanded the dissolution of parliament.
A decade has passed since the 2011 revolution that sparked the Arab Spring and brought democratic reforms. But Tunisia has remained prone to political turmoil, which has hampered the rebuilding of public services.
On top of that, political leaders have been unable to slow an overwhelming coronavirus outbreak, which has killed thousands of people.
Those on the streets will celebrate their triumph over Parliament but know, from experience, that the road to a more stable politics is much longer.
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