The suspension of Tunisia's Parliament and the dismissal of the Prime Minister of Tunisia on Sunday by its President are of great concern. These actions extinguish accountability, undermine trust between the people and the government, and amount to an assault on Tunisia's democracy.
There is no example of a democratic country that improved its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic by suspending democracy. There are, however, enough examples to prove that less democracy is a recipe for disaster in handling Covid-19.
The elected members of Parliament are the representatives and the voice of the people. The Parliament is the institution which stands in defense of accountability and against the resurgence of the old, dictatorial order. Sweeping it aside for any reason risks undoing a decade of progress and can further undermine the effectiveness of the pandemic response.
My thoughts are with the people of Tunisia. For over a decade they have patiently and courageously worked to build a just and fair society in the aftermath of decades of oppressive dictatorship. Today they are confronted with a rapidly worsening Covid-19 situation which has not been handled effectively by the government.
Parliament is the place to challenge the government's performance. Which is why I add my voice to those who call for an immediate restoration of Parliament and of the rule of law in Tunisia.