The International Union for Muslim Scholars (IUMS) rejected any “coup” in Tunisia, as the country’s president sacked the country’s prime minister and suspended parliament.

“We are against any coup even if it is carried out by an Islamic group. Our legitimate position is clear,” IUMS Secretary-General Ali al-Qaradaghi said in a Twitter post following the announcement by Tunisian President Kais Saied late Sunday that he has fully assumed executive authority.

Saied dismissed the government of Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi, froze parliament and assumed the executive authority with the assistance of a new prime minister.

Qaradaghi warned the Tunisian people to be wary of putschists’ traps.

“Tunisia and its great people are too big and conscious to be swallowed up by the putschists and their supporters,” he said.

Meanwhile, soldiers deployed at parliament prevented Parliament Speaker Rached Ghannouchi and accompanying lawmakers from entering the building.

Ghannouchi, for his part, denounced Saied’s move as a “full-fledged coup” against the Tunisian constitution, revolution, and freedoms in the country.

Tunisia has been gripped by a deep crisis since Jan. 16, when Mechichi announced a cabinet reshuffle but Saied refused to hold a ceremony to swear in the new ministers. Tunisia also faces an unprecedented spread of the COVID-19 strains in most states, causing a rapid spread of the virus.

Tunisia is seen as the only Arab country that succeeded in carrying out a democratic transition among other Arab countries that also witnessed popular revolutions that toppled the ruling regimes, including Egypt, Libya, and Yemen.

*Writing by Ibrahim Mukhtar in Ankara

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