Tunis- President Kaies Saied of Tunisia finally unveils the proposed constitution, which replaces 2014’s constitution which was implemented in the wake of the 2011 revolution against tyranny and corruption.
Kais Saied self-grants himself absolute power in this new constitution that will be put to referendum this month. The constitution, published last Thursday, confirms that Saied will still rule by decree until the creation of a new parliament through what he calls a “democratic election,” which is expected this December.
Kais Saied begins preparations for his referendum which will take place two weeks from now, on July 25, after promising to bring sweeping changes to the country. However, since his election, Tunisia has been experiencing turbulent months. The economy is stagnated and the political opposition against his system is aggravating.
Kais Saied described his actions as an endeavour to save Tunisia from the rampant “corruption” that lurked since the 2014 constitution created by the former political parties.
Many political critics perceive Saied’s actions as a new reign of tyranny, following Tunisia’s 11 years of having freedom of speech. Critics proceeded to say that Saied’s seizure of power is the beginning of a “new dictatorship.” Saied’s self-granted rule has ruined the democratic gains of Tunisia’s 2011 revolution.
On the other hand, Saied’s supporters are positive about the future of the country under his rule. According to the writer and university lecturer Chokri Mbakhout, the new constitution was built on the strong presidential system, after what he calls “the failure of the semi-parliamentary system”. Mbakhout criticized people’s reaction to the new constitution, saying that “all the fears about rights and freedoms are invalid”.
However, Sadiq Belaid, the General Coordinator of the Committee, who was signed by the president to draft a new constitution, confirmed in a statement that the draft constitution is “dangerous.” Sadiq Belaid for Al-Sabah newspaper issued today asserts “the text that was published in the official newspaper has nothing to do with the text of the constitution that we prepared in the committee! The commission is innocent of the draft constitution that the president put to the referendum”.
Now that the committee itself repudiates the proposed draft of the president’s constitution, what does the future hold for Tunisia amid the rampant political anarchy?
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