Tunisia president pledges to protect freedoms

by Reuters
Thursday, 29 July 2021 19:59 GMT

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TUNIS, July 29 (Reuters) - Tunisian President Kais Saied on Thursday appointed Ridha Garsalaoui, a former national security adviser to the presidency, to run the Interior Ministry and pledged to protect rights and freedoms.

Saied on Sunday invoked a national emergency to seize control of government, dismiss the prime minister and freeze parliament in moves his opponents called a coup.

Tunisians are awaiting the appointment of a new prime minister and the announcement of a road map to find a way out of the crisis.

"I tell you and the whole world that I am keen to implement the constitutional text and keen more than them on rights and freedoms," Saied said.

"No one has been arrested. No one has been deprived of his rights, but the law is fully applied," he added.

Supporters of Saied have cast his intervention as a welcome reset for the 2011 revolution after years of economic stagnation under a political class that has often appeared more interested in its own narrow advantage than in national gain.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday said he had urged Saied to take action that would return the country "to the democratic path". (Reporting By Tarek Amara and Ahmed Tolba; Writing by Angus McDowall; Editing by Leslie Adler and Nick Macfie)

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