Tunisian Interior Minister Resigns Amidst Crackdown On Prominent Opposition Figures
Tunisian Interior Minister Taoufik Charfeddine has resigned due to family reasons, he told reporters on Friday, amid a crackdown on prominent opposition figures and a campaign against African migrants that has prompted international ire.
President Kais Saied has not yet announced a replacement for Charfeddine, who at one stage was seen as the closest Tunisian official to the president but had in recent months appeared less frequently in public.
Speaking to reporters in comments broadcast on local media, Charfeddine referred to the death of his wife last year and his need to look after his children.
Saied has taken increasing control over security forces since July 2021 when he dismissed the government of Hichem Mechichi, shut down the parliament and moved to rule by decree before writing a new constitution that he passed last year.
Charfeddine had also served as interior minister under Mechichi, who sacked him in January 2021 as relations between the president and prime minister broke down. Saied reappointed him after dismissing Mechichi and seizing most powers.
Over recent weeks, Tunisian authorities have detained prominent opposition figures who accuse Saied of a coup, charging them with conspiring against state security.
Police have also carried out a crackdown on African migrants lacking residence permits, with rights groups accusing them of detaining hundreds and turning a blind eye to racist attacks.