Monday, 13 May, 2024

Tunisia’s Saied to form committee to write ‘New Republic’ constitution



President Kais Saied is rewriting the democratic constitution introduced after the 2011 revolution in the North African country and says he will put it to a referendum in July.

A looming economic crisis threatens to unravel Saied's plans, as the government struggles to finance its 2022 deficit and repay debts.
A looming economic crisis threatens to unravel Saied’s plans, as the government struggles to finance its 2022 deficit and repay debts. (Reuters)

Tunisian President Kais Saied has said in a televised speech that his government will form a committee to write a constitution for a "New Republic" in Tunisia, adding that the committee will conclude its work within a few days.

A national dialogue on reforms will include four major organisations in Tunisia, Saied said on Sunday, referring to the UGTT labour union, the lawyers union, the Federation of Industry and trade and the Tunisian League of Human Rights.

Saied has seized control of the country's election commission seen as a blow to the democratic gains of the country's 2011 revolution and meant the body was no longer independent.

He has already dismissed parliament and taken control of the judiciary after assuming executive authority last summer and saying he could rule by decree in moves his opponents denounce as a coup.

Saied, who says his actions were both legal and needed to save Tunisia from a crisis, is rewriting the democratic constitution introduced after the 2011 revolution and says he will put it to a referendum in July.

READ MORE: 'President's commission': Tunisia's Saied seizes control of electoral body

Economic crisis

Although Saied's seizure of powers has angered most of Tunisia's political establishment, it was initially very popular in a country where many people were frustrated by economic stagnation and governmental paralysis.

However, while Saied has focused on restructuring Tunisian politics, a looming economic crisis threatens to unravel his plans, as the government struggles to finance its 2022 deficit and repay debts.

Talks have been held between Tunisian negotiators and the International Monetary Fund for a rescue package.

Tunisia's main Western donors have urged Saied to return to a democratic, constitutional path.

READ MORE: Tunisia’s economic woes hang over Saied’s quest to consolidate power

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