Hundreds of demonstrators marched through central Tunis on Saturday, demanding a restoration to parliamentary democracy following President Kais Saied’s power grab in July. Journalists claimed that security officers on the ground and an interior ministry surveillance drone hovered over the march.
The majority of the demonstrators were followers of the Islamist-inspired Ennahdha party, which had previously formed the largest bloc in parliament before the president disbanded it.
The protesters chanted, “The people want the coup to fail.” “We want to be taken seriously.” Saied deposed the government, halted parliament, revoked MPs’ immunity, and placed himself in command of all prosecutions on July 25. Saied has extended the sanctions for another 30-day period, but has yet to reply to pleas for a timeline for their removal.
“This is a demonstration to highlight that there are Tunisians who oppose the coup and President Saied’s actions,” said Jawhar Ben Mbarek, a prominent leftist among the protestors. A counter-demonstration was held by a few dozen Saied supporters. Saied claims that his actions are protected under Article 80 of the constitution, which states that the president can take “extraordinary measures” if national security is “imminently threatened.”