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Tunisia’s President Kais Saied has met with the new speaker of parliament

Tunisian President Kais Saied meets the new speaker of parliament   -  
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Tunisia’s President Kais Saied has met with the new speaker of parliament, Ibrahim Bouderbala, following his election during the assembly’s first sitting on Monday.

The 71-year-old is the former chief of the Tunisian Bar Association and a staunch ally of the president.

The new parliament was voted in following an election last year with a turnout of just 11 per cent. Only 154 of its 161 seats have been filled so far, of which 25 places are held by women.

The main opposition coalition, the National Salvation Front, said in a statement on Monday that it would not recognise the assembly, which will operate under a constitution written by Saied last year, and have very little power compared to the body it replaces.

President Kais Saied shut down the previous elected parliament in July 2021, ruling by decree in a move that opposition parties have described as a coup.

Independent journalists and foreign media were not allowed to attend Monday’s opening session of parliament for the first time since Tunisia’s 2011 revolution.

Officials told reporters that only state TV and radio and the state news agency were allowed to cover the event.

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