Tunisian President Kais Saied appoints new interior minister

Ridha Gharsallaoui took the constitutional oath before Kais Saied in accordance with Article 89 of the Constitution, according to a presidential statement.

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During the evening of Thursday, the Tunisian Presidency announced that President Kais Saied had appointed Ridha Gharsallaoui as the Minister of the Interior after sacking the head of government Hichem Mechichi and the interim interior minister.

Through a press release, the Presidency of the Republic affirmed that “President Saied has issued a presidential decree appointing Gharsallaoui as the head of the Ministry of the Interior.”

“Gharsallaoui took the constitutional oath before the Head of State in accordance with Article 89 of the Constitution,” according to the same source.

Ridha Gharsallaoui was assigned in 1996 to the General Security Directorate of the Head of State and Officials, where he took up his post as 1st Class Commissioner General of the Police.

Throughout his career, he has held many positions, including that of Director-General of Presidential Security, and has followed several pieces of training and internships in Tunisia and abroad, as part of his specialities, namely intelligence, counter-terrorism and logistical support.

On Monday, President Saied issued a presidential decree dismissing the head of government Hichem Mechichi, the Minister of Defense, Brahim Bartagi, and Hasna Ben Slimane, the government spokesperson and interim Minister of Justice.

Kais Saied, had announced on Sunday evening, during an emergency meeting with senior military and security officials, the dismissal of Head of Government Hichem Mechichi and the freezing of the powers of Parliament. He also said he will assume executive power, with the help of a government headed by a new chief appointed by him, for a period of 30 days. The President has also announced that he will chair the prosecution, as well as the lifting of parliamentary immunity of all members of Parliament.

The head of state said he made these decisions to “save Tunisia, the state and the Tunisian people” and that the resulting emergency measures are temporary. Some political parties saw the said measures as a “coup d’etat against the Constitution,” while others were in favor, considering it a “rectification of the revolutionary process.”

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