Ahmed Atef (Tunisia, Cairo)
Amid great anticipation and fanfare from the “Brotherhood” represented by the “Ennahda” movement and their supporters inside and outside Tunisia, Tunisians began what they considered a “certain amendment” by registering their votes at 11,000 polling stations. A new constitution for the country was presented by Tunisian President Ghiz Ssai in conjunction with the celebration of the 65th anniversary of the Republic of Tunisia.
He called on the Tunisian people to “resolve this matter while they are free to vote” while voting in the constitutional referendum.
In view of the new articles and amendments included in the new draft constitution, of course, the first thing that attracts attention is the most important change, which is the clear approval of the presidential system, where the president has no security and no foreign affairs. In the text of the 2014 constitution, the powers were expanded to include the powers to appoint the government and judges and to determine the functions of the parliament. The president of the republic has the right to appoint the head of government and its other members. A proposal from the Prime Minister, the President has the power to dismiss them without the involvement of Parliament.
According to the new version of the constitution, which is subject to a referendum, the Tunisian president becomes the supreme commander of the armed forces, has the power to set the government’s general policy and decide its basic choices, and his legislative proposals have priority in parliamentary debates.
Also, in the new constitution, the legislative function is divided between the “Council of People’s Representatives”, whose representatives are elected by direct suffrage for 5 years, and the “National Regional Council”, which includes representatives elected from each region, although its tasks are still undefined.
The President appoints judges after the Supreme Court submits their recommendations.
Experts point out that if the referendum is successful and the constitution is approved, the Tunisian president will be able to overcome the mistakes of the past constitution and establish a new constitutional mechanism in the country according to his wishes. The majority of people are making progress in fighting corruption and achieving comprehensive development, although the constitution will not be a “magic wand” to change the economic crisis in Tunisia. The rules governing the referendum state that a minimum level of participation is not required to ratify the new constitution, specifically to come into effect once the final results are published.
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