In the spotlight: the draft constitution presented in Tunisia

Expected and much commented on even before it was published, the constitutional project that President Kais Saied wanted was published in the official newspaper, on Thursday, June 30. Ten chapters and 142 articles, to download and read in Arabic version on the site Digital Tunisia or on the newspaper’s website The press. A project that will be put to a referendum on July 25, more than 9 million Tunisians “registered in the electoral roll” will be able to vote, specifies The press according to figures released yesterday by ISIE, the independent high authority for elections. As for the campaign for this referendum, out of the 169 submitted participant files, “161 were selected”, the Tunisian newspaper specifies. This figure includes 24 political parties, 27 associations and organizations and 110 natural persons.

A text that meets expectations Basically, the text is more in line with what was expected. It is not “in total violation” of the 2014 Constitution, confirms Brahim Bouderbala, President of the Bar Association and Chairman of the Advisory Commission for the New Republic, statements on the radio Shems FM and quoted in Economist. He mentions in particular the establishment of a constitutional court consisting of nine members (three professors of constitutional law, three judges and three lawyers at the Court of Cassation), but it is fashionable to recall that this constitutional court was already planned by a previous constitution derived from the revolution was never introduced. Kais Saied had also refused last year to ratify the bill that would establish it. By the way, no real surprise, the new project gives just “increased powers to the head of state”, we learn on the site of the radio Mosaic FM. The newspaper Time see also in it “the grounds for the return to the presidential regime”. For him, it is certainly “it is enough to go through the chapters and paragraphs, to be convinced that it is the break with parliamentarism”.

A change in the reference to Islam as a state religionAnd then continue, as expected Time, the reference to the Arab-Muslim identity of the state was deleted. ” When the texts of 1959 and 2014 stated that “Tunisia is a free, independent and sovereign state, Islam is its religion, Arabic is its language”, the new draft no longer states that “Tunisia is a free, independent and sovereign”. The reference to Islam and Arabic in Article 1 has therefore been removed, but Article 5 emphasizes Economist, now prescribes that “Tunisia is part of Omma”, that is, the community of believers. For sociologist Fethi Jelassi, it’s a bit kif-kif: with this new article 5 we can always “incriminate those who hold a sandwich in their hand during Ramadan”. Also addressed by L’Économiste, entrepreneur Lofti Hamadi sums it up as follows: Tunisia will have “the most secular of Islamist constitutions”.

In Burkina Faso, as well as in Mali and Guinea, preparations for the Accra summitThe Burkina Faso press comments on the arrival of Mahamadou Issoufou. “Two weeks after his first visit as ECOWAS mediator, the former Nigerian president is expected again today in Ouagadougou,” he tells us. Paalga Observer. “48 hours after a new regional summit with the main topic on the agenda for the return to normal constitutional life in Mali, Guinea and Burkina, Mahamadou Issoufou must put his notes in order for his report to the Heads of State,” the newspaper Burkinabè said. For “the least we can say is that the government of Paul-Henry Damiba has not changed a bit on its desire to carry out a 36-month transition.” He presented his project to the political class on Wednesday, but received criticism from the same political class, the MPP at the helm, which speaks of “show to please ECOWAS”, L’Observateur emphasizes.

Anyway, analyze The country, still in Burkina, in Ouagadougou, as in Bamako and Conakry, “it is the political turmoil”, as the Accra summit approaches, “to meet the specifications of the subregional institution”. And beyond the sub-regional institution, it is also up to the people to remain vigilant. Wakat Sera confirms: “While the generals are killing in Sudan, Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso, it is the colonels who are giving ECOWAS sleepless nights.” In Mali, for example, “under the terms of the new electoral law, a soldier can claim the presidency or an elective position! It is enough for him to carry out the ruling, four short months before the election deadline! Like what, the sweepers have the will to settle in the houses they have cleaned! writes Wakat Sera.

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