Tunisia’s President Kais Saied declared on Thursday that there would be “no turning back” from his decision to suspend parliament and assume executive power, which his opponents have labelled a coup.
In a video released by his office, Saied also rejected calls for talks about the crisis, saying that “there is no dialogue except with the honest” and that no dialogue with “cancer cells” was possible.
In a statement issued earlier on Thursday, the largest party in parliament, the moderate Islamist Ennahda, which has been the most vocal opponent of Saied’s moves, called for dialogue.
Some 11 days after his intervention, Saied has not named a new prime minister, announced any steps to end the emergency or declared his longer-term intentions.
The powerful labour union, as well as the United States and France, have urged him to form a new government as soon as possible. The union is working on a plan to end the crisis, which it plans to present to Saied.
Chairman of the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Menendez and ranking member Jim Risch expressed grave concern about the situation on Thursday.
“President Saied must recommit to the democratic principles that underpin US-Tunisia relations, and the military must play its constitutionally mandated role,” they said in a joint statement.
Ousted Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi appeared in public for the first time on Thursday since he was dismissed. He was shown in pictures published by the anti-corruption watchdog that it said were taken on Thursday at its office.