By Alaa Mohammed Aboueleinin Aly and Safiye Karabacak

Tunisian President Kais Saied imposed a month-long nationwide curfew Monday, a day after dismissing the prime minister and freezing parliament.

According to a written statement from the Tunisian Presidency, Saied issued a decree banning people and vehicles from streets from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. starting Monday evening until Aug. 27.

The decree also bans gatherings of more than three people on public roads and in squares.

Saied also suspended work at public institutions except for the army and police for a period of two days as of Tuesday.

In a televised speech Sunday, Saied said he would suspend the immunity of all members of parliament and take control of the general prosecutor’s office. He claimed that he had taken the decisions after consulting with Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi and Parliament Speaker Rached Ghannouchi.

Saied also dismissed the government of Prime Minister Mechichi and assumed executive authority with the assistance of a new prime minister.

Ghannouchi, for his part, described Saied’s moves as nothing but 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. It also faces an unprecedented spread of COVID-19 strains in most states.

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

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