Tunisian court suspends President Kais Saied's dismissal of judges

The judges were among 57 sacked on June 1

Tunisia's President Kais Saied greets supporters in Tunis after a referendum on a new constitution on July 26. He now has the ultimate authority over both the government and judicial appointments. Reuters
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Tunisia's Administrative Court on Wednesday suspended President Kais Saied's decision to dismiss 50 judges, state media reported.

The judges were among 57 sacked by Mr Saied for alleged corruption on June 1, a step aimed at consolidating his rule.

The suspension of the decision came after "all the investigation procedures were completed," said court spokesman Imed Ghabri, according to the official TAP news agency.

Mr Saied had accused the judges of intentionally delaying the opening of investigations into corruption cases. He also said they were responsible for financial corruption, bribery, breaching integrity and hindering the tracking of suspects in terrorism cases.

“The situation cannot continue without an end. It is not acceptable today that the courts of justice be void of justice," Mr Saied said in June.

Last summer, the Tunisian president dismissed the government and seized executive power in a move his rivals called a coup before setting aside the 2014 constitution to rule by decree and dismissing parliament.

He said his moves were needed to save Tunisia from crisis and his intervention initially appeared to have widespread public support after years of economic stagnation, political paralysis and corruption.

Mr Saied last month pushed through a new constitution, giving himself nearly unchecked powers, something that his critics say will lead to one-man rule and spell the end of meaningful democracy.

The constitution has given him the ultimate authority over both the government and judicial appointments, while making the parliament largely toothless.

Updated: August 10, 2022, 1:41 PM