Tunisian President Kais Saied on Sunday dissolved the Supreme Judicial Council, the body that deals with judicial independence, a move that raises fears about the independence of the judiciary and was sure to anger his opponents.
Saied said the council has become a thing of the past, adding that he will issue a temporary decree to the council. He gave no other details about the decree.
He said the body that deals with judicial independence “has become a thing of the past.”
Sunday’s announcement caps months of his sharp criticism of the judges, saying the judiciary is just “a function of the state.”
Last month, Saied revoked all financial privileges for council members.
“In this council, positions and appointments are sold according to loyalties. Their place is not the place where they sit now, but where the accused stand,” he said.
Saied promises to change the political system
It is just the latest move by Saied to tighten his grip on power.
Last July he plunged Tunisia into a constitutional crisis when he suspended the country’s parliament, dismissed the sitting prime minister and granted himself executive powers.
He insisted that the “exceptional measures” were intended to save Tunisia from collapse.
Critics have called the measures a coup.
Thousands of Tunisians have taken to the streets in demonstrations both in support and against him.
Saied has started an online public consultation on a new constitution that he says will be put to a referendum in July.
He has not brought major political or civil society players into the process.