After her guards banned, Tunisian MP wears helmet, bulletproof vest in parliament  

WION Web Team
Tunis Published: May 05, 2021, 11:18 AM(IST)

Abir Moussi sitting in parliament, wearing a motorcycle helmet and a bulletproof vest. Photograph:( Twitter )

Story highlights

Abir Moussi is a senior member of the secular Free Destourian party, known by its French acronym PDL. Moussi is a lawyer and supporter of the autocratic former president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, who was ousted in Tunisia’s 2011 uprising

In an attention-grabbing gesture after the speaker banned private security guards from all parties, a Tunisian MP took her seat in parliament wearing a motorcycle crash helmet and a bulletproof vest. Some of the guards had been accused of assault.  

Abir Moussi is a senior member of the secular Free Destourian party, known by its French acronym PDL. Moussi is a lawyer and supporter of the autocratic former president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, who was ousted in Tunisia’s 2011 uprising. 

Moussi was seen sitting in parliament with a picture of Ben Ali’s predecessor, Habib Bourguiba. 

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi said, Tunisia will seek a $4 billion loan programme from the International Monetary Fund, saying politicians faced a 'last opportunity' to save the economy. 

Mechichi said he expected talks to last about two months and had 'confidence' Tunisia could secure financial support to help it through an economic crisis that has been aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"All efforts must be unified in Tunisia because we consider that we have reached the last opportunity and we must use it to save the economy," he said in an interview. 

He said he wanted a three-year loan programme and added that details of an agreement with powerful labour unions, seen as vital to unlock foreign funding, were still being finalised. 

The finance minister and central bank governor will visit the United States next week to start the negotiations, Mechichi said, and he will also go there when a deal is in place. 

He said Tunisia would rationalise rather than cut subsidies and said it was considering sales of minority stock it holds in some businesses to raise funds for investment in the most important publicly owned companies. 

(With input from agencies) 

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