20 July 2022
The second report of the project, ‘Conflict, coping and COVID,’ published in early 2021, detailed the evolution of human smuggling and trafficking in the face of Libyan conflict and the region-wide COVID-19 pandemic, underscoring both the disruption of the system and its broader continuity. [...] In big networks there is the main fisherman, the owner of the boat, the captain that drives the boat, and a medium who recruits people for the crossing. [...] The precise reasons for the surge in irregular migration and the popularity of Saied’s moves among the Tunisian public differ, yet both are rooted in longstanding failings of the government and economy, dynamics that have been stressed past breaking point by the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. [...] In the address, Saied announced three immediate actions: ■ The suspension of parliamentary activity for the duration of the emergency; ■ the dismissal of Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi, with Saied temporarily assuming the executive role (though with the promise to appoint a new prime minister); and ■ a revocation of parliamentary immunity and the prosecution of MPs under investigation. [...] The article, which is designed to address immediate threats to ‘national integrity, security or independence of the country and hindering the proper functioning of the public powers’, requires that the president consult with the prime minister and the parliamentary speaker.