Tunisian President Kais Saied on Thursday (July 29) appointed a security adviser in charge of the Interior Ministry, the first appointment four days after he seized all executive power, suspending the activity of Parliament to a month.
"The President of the Republic has issued a presidential decree instructing Ridha Gharsallaoui to manage the Ministry of the Interior,"
the presidency said in a statement Thursday evening.
Ridha Gharsalloui, who was sworn in, is a police commissioner turned national security adviser to the president, according to local media.
To read also: "What is happening in Tunisia is not a coup d'etat but a republican leap"
The appointment comes after several civil society organizations, as well as foreign countries, called on Kais Saied to appoint a new government without delay, as he had pledged to do. The Tunisian president argued
facing the country, plunged for months into a deep political crisis, and hit hard by a deadly peak of coronavirus, to justify his seizure of power on Sunday.
He sacked Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi, much criticized for his handling of the Covid-19 epidemic which left Tunisia short of oxygen and overwhelmed by a spike in hospitalizations, indicating that he would exercise executive power with
"Help from a government"
whose leader he has yet to name.
Kais Saied also announced Wednesday evening the establishment of a crisis unit to manage the Covid-19 pandemic, supervised by a senior military officer.
Read also: Tunisia: the president grants himself executive power and deals a blow to Ennahdha
Several civil society organizations had called for a roadmap on Wednesday and warned against any
of the suspension of Parliament beyond the 30 days provided for by the Constitution.