Tunisian protests against the surge in COVID, the economy is hit hard | Coronavirus pandemic news

The Tunisian police used pepper spray at the protesters. They threw stones and demanded that Prime Minister Hichem Mecic step down and dissolve the parliament.

Police and protesters clashed in several cities in Tunisia as demonstrators demanded that the government step down after a surge in COVID-19 cases, which exacerbated economic problems and attacked the offices of the Baath Party, the largest party in the parliament.

In Tunisia on Sunday, the police used pepper spray on protesters who threw stones and chanted slogans, demanding that Prime Minister Hichem Mecic step down and dissolve the parliament.

Witnesses claimed that protesters rushed or tried to rush into Ennahda’s offices in Monastir, Sfax, El Kef and Sousse, while in Touzeur they set fire to the party’s local headquarters.

The protests have put pressure on the fragile government, which is caught in a political battle with President Keith Said, who is trying to avoid an imminent fiscal crisis as COVID-19 cases continue for several weeks and death rates are rising. .

The pandemic hit Tunisia as it strives to revitalize the economy that has been hit hard since the revolution in 2011. As unemployment soars and state services decline, public support for democracy is undermined.

At a rally in front of the Parliament in the capital, Tunisia, Tunisian anti-government protesters threw stones during clashes with security forces [Fethi Belaid/AFP]

Nourredine Selmi, a 28-year-old unemployed protester, told Reuters: “Our patience is exhausted…the unemployed have no solution.” “They can’t control the epidemic…They can’t provide us with a vaccine. .”

Last week, during the Muslim Eid al-Fitr, Mechichi fired the Minister of Health after chaos at the walk-in vaccination center, where a large number of people lined up to wait for a shortage of vaccines​​.

The ministry said earlier this month that Tunisia’s health system “collapsed” under the weight of the pandemic, killing more than 17,000 out of a population of approximately 12 million.

After arguing with Mechichi and Ennahda leader Rached Ghannouchi for a year, President Said announced that the army will take over the pandemic response.

Some analysts believe that Said’s move is to extend his power beyond the diplomatic and military roles granted to the president by the 2014 constitution.

The paralysis of the government may undermine the efforts to negotiate a loan from the International Monetary Fund, which is seen as vital to stabilizing the country’s finances, but may also involve cuts in spending, thereby exacerbating the economic suffering of ordinary people.


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