Tunisian President Kais Saied reshuffled his cabinet late Saturday, replacing the interior and social affairs ministers. The move follows a series of arrests of activists, lawyers, and journalists, and protests against the government.

Khaled Nouri, the governor of Ariana Province, was appointed as the new interior minister, replacing Kamel Feki. Kamel Al Madouri, former CEO of the National Health Insurance Fund, took over as social affairs minister, replacing Malek Ezzahi.

Additionally, a new position of secretary of state overseeing national security under the interior minister was created, and Sofiene Ben Sadok was appointed to the role. The new members of government were sworn in before President Saied, in the presence of Prime Minister Ahmed Hachani.

The reason for the dismissals was not specified in the announcement. However, the reshuffle comes after a wave of arrests that has drawn condemnation from the European Union, the United States, and France, who have expressed concern about the crackdown on dissent. President Saied has responded to these concerns, calling them “unacceptable foreign interference.”

The day before the reshuffle, hundreds of Tunisians protested in the capital against the recent arrests, which have been carried out under a presidential decree that critics say is being used to stifle dissent.

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