TUNIS (Reuters) -Tunisia’s president said on Thursday he would issue a decree effectively dissolving the Supreme Judiciary Council, one of the last remaining institutions in the country able to work independently of him, adding he would name a new council.
The president, Kais Saied, on Sunday had announced plans to dissolve the council in the latest in a series of moves his opponents have called a coup.
A few minutes after the president’s comments on Thursday, the council announced it rejected his decision, saying the “current structure is the only representative of the judiciary.”
Dozens of judges in uniform protested in front of Tunis court, shouting slogans calling for Saied to respect the independence of the judiciary.
Saied said in a speech during a cabinet meeting that a draft penal reconciliation decree had been prepared that would offer pardons to businessmen involved in corruption on condition that they financed development projects. He gave no further details.
(Reporting by Tarek Amara and Alaa SwilamWriting by Lilian WagdyEditing by Catherine Evans, William Maclean)