State of emergency grants country’s interior minister exceptional powers
Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi announced the extension of a countrywide state of emergency for one more month, which is set to expire March 11, the presidential office said late Friday.
“Following consultations with Prime Minister Yusuf al-Shahid and Parliament Speaker Mohamed al-Nasser, President Essebsi has decided to extend the state of emergency for one more month, effective as of Saturday,” according to a statement.
The temporary state of emergency was first imposed in Tunisia following the country’s 2011 popular uprising, which ended the regime of longstanding president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
A second state of emergency was imposed in late 2015 after a terrorist attack in the capital Tunis left dozens dead, including security personnel.
The current state of emergency was extended for three months in November 2017.
The state of emergency — which has been renewed several times — invests Tunisia’s interior minister with exceptional powers, allowing him to impose curfews, ban large assemblies, and censor the media without judicial approval, among other things.