Tunisian president asks former national security adviser to temporarily run interior ministry

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Tunisian President Kais Saied on Thursday asked Ridha Gharsallaoui, a former national security adviser to the presidency, to temporarily take charge of the Interior Ministry until a new government can be formed.

The announcement was published on the Tunisian Presidency's official website.

Ridha Gharsallaoui was sworn into his interim role by the President of the Republic, as required by Article 89 of the Constitution.

Saied on Sunday invoked a national emergency to seize control of government, dismiss the prime minister and freeze parliament in moves his opponents called a coup.

Tunisians are awaiting the appointment of a new prime minister and the announcement of a road map to find a way out of the crisis.

"I tell you and the whole world that I am keen to implement the constitutional text and keen more than them on rights and freedoms," Saied said.

"No one has been arrested. No one has been deprived of his rights, but the law is fully applied," he added.

Supporters of Saied have cast his intervention as a welcome reset for the 2011 revolution after years of economic stagnation under a political class that has often appeared more interested in its own agenda rather than pursuing policies for the national good.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday said he had urged Saied to take action that would return the country "to the democratic path".


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