TUNIS, Tunisia

Tunisia’s Supreme Judicial Council announced that its members will “continue to carry out their duties regardless” of President Kais Saied’s decree to end their privileges.

The statement comes following a decree by Saied on Wednesday evening to “put an end to the grants and privileges” granted to members of the Supreme Judicial Council, a constitutional body monitoring the proper functioning of the judiciary.

“We hope that this presidential order will not be a means of putting pressure on the Supreme Judicial Council,” the head of the council, Youssef Bouzacher, said in a statement to local Shams FM radio, noting that the constitution grants the council “self-management”.

Bouzacher said the council “will present its opinion on the decree” that “the constitutional structure of the judiciary cannot be compromised.”

Concerns have been raised in Tunisia recently regarding the independence of the judiciary in light of Saied’s statements that the judiciary is “a function of the state,” and his allusion to the dissolution of the Supreme Judicial Council.

On July 25, Saied deposed the government, suspended parliament, and assumed executive authority.

He insisted that the “exceptional measures” were intended to “save” the country, but critics accuse him of planning a “coup.”

*Writing by Ibrahim Mukhtar

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