President Kais Saied has frequently criticised the judiciary’s delay in issuing rulings in cases of corruption and terrorism and called the council a thing of the past.
Tunisian President Kais Saied has dissolved the Supreme Judicial Council, the body that deals with judicial independence.
Saied's decision on Sunday caps months of his sharp criticism of the judges. The move raises fears about the independence of the judiciary and is sure to anger his opponents.
Saied has frequently criticised the judiciary’s delay in issuing rulings in cases of corruption and terrorism.
He repeatedly said he would not allow judges to act as if they are a state, instead of being a function of the state.
Saied called the council a thing of the past, adding he will issue a temporary decree to the council.
He gave no details about the decree.
The Supreme Judicial Council is an independent and constitutional institution, formed in 2016.
Its powers include ensuring the independence of the judiciary, disciplining judges and granting them professional promotions.
Last month, Saied revoked all financial privileges for council members.
"In this council, positions and appointments are sold according to loyalties. Their place is not the place where they sit now, but where the accused stand," Saied said in speech in the interior ministry.
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Green light to protests against judiciary
On Sunday, parties and organizations, including the powerful UGTT union, will demonstrate to pressure the judiciary to hold those involved in terrorism accountable, on the ninth anniversary of the assassination of secular politician Chokri Belaid.
It is expected that Saied's supporters also will protest in a second demonstration against the Supreme Judicial Council.
"I tell Tunisians to demonstrate freely. It is your right and our right to dissolve the Supreme Judicial Council," Saied said.
Saied's approval of Sunday's demonstrations comes even though a government decision to ban all demonstrations remains in effect.
Last month, police fired water cannons and beat protesters with sticks to break up an opposition protest against Saied.
Last July, Saied dismissed the government and suspended parliament, a move his opponents described as a coup.
READ MORE: Tunisian police use tear gas, water cannons to disperse anti-Saied protest
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