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Exclusion of parties from drafting new constitution decried by Tunisia’s Ennahda

A decree issued by President Kais Saied excluding political parties from drafting the country’s new constitution has been decried by Tunisia's Ennahda.

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A decree issued by President Kais Saied excluding political parties from drafting the country’s new constitution has been decried by Tunisia’s Ennahda.

Law professor Sadik Belaid was named by Saied on Friday to chair an advisory committee to draft a new constitution.

Coordination between two other advisory panels tasked with making proposals for drafting the country’s new constitution will be established by Belaid. The two panels consist of deans of law and six national organizations, including the powerful UGTT Labor Union.

The two panels will prepare a constitution “that responds to the aspirations of the people and guarantees the principles of justice and freedom in a true democratic system,” according to the decree.

Saied’s move was defined by Ennahda as “a complete departure from constitutional legitimacy and a consecration of the July 25 coup and one-man rule,” in a statement.

An online survey was launched by Saied in January with the aim of “enhancing citizens’ participation in the democratic transition process”. He also plans to hold a referendum in July on the shape of the political system in the country.

Citing the dissolution of the country’s election commission and naming new members by Saied, a referendum planned by the Tunisian president “lacks legitimacy and credibility,” Ennahda said.

Tunisia’s political parties were called on “unifying efforts to restore democracy and save the country from the dangers of economic collapse” by Ennahda.

Since July 25, 2021, when Saied dismissed the government, suspended parliament, and assumed executive authority, in a move decried by opponents as a “coup,” Tunisia has been in the throes of a deep political crisis. After lawmakers held a session to revoke Saied’s measures, he dissolved the parliament in March.

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