What’s happening in Tunisia explained in 500 words

Often celebrated as the Arab Spring’s so-called success model, Tunisia is facing its biggest political crises since the 2011 revolution that introduced democracy.

On Sunday, President Kais Saied removed Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi, who was also in charge of the Interior Ministry and suspended Parliament.

He also suspended the immunity of members of parliament, insisting his actions were in line with the constitution.

In his speech, Saied said he would assume executive authority with the assistance of a new prime minister.

The announcement was condemned as an attack on democracy by his rivals but was greeted by others with celebrations on the streets across the country.

Parliament speaker Rached Ghannouchi, who heads Parliament’s biggest party, Ennahdha, accused Saied of launching “a coup against the revolution and constitution”.

How long will parliament be suspended?

The presidency said the parliament would be suspended for 30 days, though Saied told reporters the 30-day period can be extended if needed “until the situation settles down”.

Saied based his decisions on the Article 80 in the constitution, which allows the president to take extraordinary measures if there is “imminent danger threatening the nation”.

However, it also states that parliament is to be deemed in a state of continuous session.

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