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New Tunisia Parliament Convenes Monday

FILE: Tunisian parliament member and spokesperson the Al-Karama coalition Seifeddine Makhlouf gestures outside Parliament in Tunis, Tunisia, on July 26, 2021, after the president suspended the Parliament and dismissed the Prime Minister.

TUNIS - Tunisia's new parliament, elected in December and January in a vote with ultra-low turnout of only 11%, will sit for the first time on Monday according to a presidential decree.

The new parliament, operating under a constitution that Saied wrote last year and passed in a referendum with turnout of 30%, will have very little power compared with the previous body it replaces.

As most parties boycotted the election, and candidates were anyway listed on ballot papers without party affiliation. Most of the new parliament members are political independents.

Saied's constitution also provided for a second parliamentary chamber, but he has not yet said how its members would be chosen or what responsibilities it would have.

Saied shut down the previous elected parliament in July 2021, moving to rule by decree in a move that opposition parties called a coup. He has said his actions were legal and needed to save Tunisia from years of crisis.