The new Tunisian parliament, elected in December and January in elections with a meagre turnout, started work on Monday. The state agency TAP reports this.
There had been no parliamentary work in North Africa for 20 months after President Kais Saied’s controversial rise to power. The new parliament has considerably less power than the previous one. The opposition considers it illegal.
Most domestic and foreign media were denied access to the parliament session. Only Tunisian state media were admitted. Since Saied’s controversial expansion of power at the expense of other democratic institutions, press freedom in the country has also suffered.
The Tunisian head of state had frozen the activities of the old parliament in July 2021 and then completely dissolved the parliament a year ago to weaken his political opponents.
Only 11 percent of eligible voters took part in the elections for the new parliament in December and January. As a result, many Tunisians have little hope that the political leadership will solve their problems.
The new parliament has 161 seats, seven of which are still vacant. In addition, in some constituencies, there were no candidates. The old parliament had 217 seats.