Ousted Tunisian PM says he won’t cling on

Tunisia’s dismissed Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi says he will not cling on to his position, to avoid complicating matters further.

He was dismissed by President Kais Saied on Sunday, and the parliament was temporarily suspended in a controversial move described by the speaker as a “constitutional coup” – which the president denied.

In a statement released on his Facebook page, Mr Mechichi acknowledges the political failures of recent years.

He says his year-long position as head of government came at a difficult period in Tunisia’s history, with a “strangling economic and social crisis due to successive political elites… failing to meet people’s expectations”.

Mr Mechichi said he understood the despair of Tunisians and the lack of confidence in the political class, adding that there were “great disparities” between what the people wanted and the priorities of political parties.

His statement appears conciliatory, and could serve to slightly temper the political tension plaguing the country in this uncertain period.

It also appears to break away from a nominal alliance he had formed with the speaker of parliament in recent months, which was part of the ongoing power struggle with the presidency.

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