Following Sunday’s coup attempt by Tunisia’s president, the US encouraged that same president to follow the principles of democracy.
“Good phone call with President Kais Saied today to discuss the situation in Tunisia. I expressed my support for Tunisia’s democracy,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Twitter Monday about his phone call with Saied, who one day earlier ousted the government and suspended parliament.
“I encouraged President Saied to adhere to the principles of democracy and human rights that are the basis of governance in Tunisia and urged him to maintain open dialogue with all political actors and the Tunisian people,” he added.
Blinken underscored the US’ strong partnership and continued support for the Tunisian people as they face the dual challenges of an economic crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a statement by the US State Department.
On Sunday, Saied dismissed the government of Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi, froze parliament and assumed the executive authority with the assistance of a new prime minister.
The move was rejected by most of Tunisia’s parliamentary blocs, including Ennahda, Heart of Tunisia, the Dignity Coalition, and the People's Movement.
Following Saied’s decisions, Parliament Speaker Rached Ghannouchi described Saied's move as nothing but a "full-fledged coup" against the Tunisian constitution, revolution, and freedoms in the country.
Tunisia is seen as the only Arab country that succeeded in carrying out a democratic transition among other Arab countries that also witnessed popular revolutions that toppled the ruling regimes, including Egypt, Libya, and Yemen.