Tunisia’s main opposition Ennahda party on Wednesday said it will defy the new COVID-19 ban on gatherings and go ahead with a planned protest against President Kais Saied on Friday.
“In principle, Ennahda will go ahead with the Friday protest,” said the official, Mohamed Goumani.
Earlier, the government announced it was re-imposing a night curfew, banning all gatherings for two weeks and discouraging people from travelling abroad to stop the rapid spread of the virus.
The government is accused of using the new covid rules to prevent the major planned protests against Saied in Central Tunis.
“The decision (to ban gatherings) is a political one, not a scientific one, especially given that hundreds of thousands of students will be going to school,” Goumani added.
In July, President Saied sacked the Prime Minister, suspended parliament and assumed broad powers.
The moderate Islamist Ennahda that played a role in successive coalition governments since the 2011 revolution that introduced democracy was the largest party in the suspended parliament with about a quarter of seats.
Saied insists his actions that opposition referred to as a coup were necessary to save the state and denies harbouring dictatorial ambitions.
He has started rewriting the country’s constitution and said he will put it to a referendum this summer before a new parliament is elected.