Venice Commission persona non grata in Tunisia

Tunisian President Kais Saied is angry at the Venice Commission, the Council of Europe’s advisory body on constitutional issues. The members of this commission were ordered on Monday 30 May to leave Tunisia immediately. They are accused of “interfering in the affairs of the Tunisian interior” and “undermining the country’s sovereignty”.

It was when he received his Foreign Minister Othman Jerandi in the Carthage Palace that President Kaïs Saïed addressed the Commission on Monday, accusing him of interfering in Tunisian affairs. He even threatened to withdraw Tunisia from this commission.

In a recent report on the constitutional and legal framework for the referendum of 25 July amending the Constitution, the Commission emphasized the lack of consistency in the official announcement of a referendum date before the preliminary publication of the draft new constitution. .

She also considered that it was not realistic to organize a referendum in the absence of clear and established rules in advance.

Criticism that had already been expressed by Kaïs Saïed’s detractors following the official announcement of the date of the referendum, unilaterally set by the Tunisian president. This could, according to them, constitute “a broken process that is likely to establish an autocracy”.

Furthermore, President Kaïs Saïed has excluded the political parties from the national dialogue announced in early May, unlike the UGTT, the powerful invited trade union federation. but who refused to participate. According to her, the dialogue in the format proposed by the President aims to support “conclusions decided unilaterally in advance”.

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