By FRANCESCA EBEL and BOUAZZA BEN BOUAZZA
TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Several thousand demonstrators gathered in central Tunis to protest President Kaïs Saied’s recent consolidation of power, which his critics have called a coup. The protest reflected an increasingly visible rift in Tunisian society over the president’s actions. Police presence was visibly bolstered for the demonstration, and scuffles were reported on the sidelines. Saied abruptly dismissed the prime minister, assumed all executive powers and froze the parliament amid a deteriorating economic, political and heath crisis. Saied’s actions have proved widely popular among those who see him as a corruption fighter. But others are concerned his actions signal a return to the autocracy Tunisians revolted against in the Arab Spring.