Tunisian president dissolves parliament, escalating political crisis

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In a video address late Wednesday, Saied accused members of parliament of attempting a failed coup and conspiring against national security. He ordered investigations of deputies who had participated in the online session. Saied said his actions are “protecting the people and the nation.”

The move answers a long-standing demand of Tunisians who turned out to protest across the country last year, largely against the unpopular parliament, which demonstrators blamed for failing to address high unemployment and falling living standards. Eleven years after Tunisia’s uprising toppled dictator Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali and set off popular revolts across the Middle East, segments of the Tunisian public have soured on democracy and directed anger at the moderate Islamist party Ennahda, the largest in parliament.

But Saied’s steps to abrogate the country’s institutions or place them under his control have raised alarms…

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