Tunisian President Kais Saied on Thursday dissolved municipal councils months before they were due to be elected, further dismantling the systems of government developed after the 2011 revolution that brought democracy.
The municipal councils will be replaced by “special delegations”, made up of civil servants and placed under the supervision of the governor of each region.
According a statement by Kais Saied on Wednesday, the new councils will be under new rules that he will write.
The mandates of the 350 mayors and municipal councillors currently in place are due to expire at the end of April, and elections were theoretically scheduled to follow.
In the 2018 local elections, a third of municipal councils came under the control of Ennahda, an Islamist party that has been the most vocal critic of Saied.
Elected municipal councils were introduced after the 2014 constitution called for decentralisation – a constitution that Saied has replaced with one he wrote himself and passed last year in a referendum with low turnout.