Tunisia’s draft constitution – what’s new, and why now?

by | Jul 1, 2022 | World

EXPLAINERPresident Kais Saied has pushed for the new constitution – opponents say it will slide the country away from democracy.Tunisia has published a draft constitution that would further expand the president’s powers and limit the role of the parliament, raising fears of the prospect of one-man rule in the country.
The draft, published in Tunisia’s official gazette late on Thursday, will be voted on in a July 25 referendum, one year after President Kais Saied staged what critics have called a coup.
With no minimum level of participation required, analysts say the measure is likely to pass, but with only limited public involvement.
What’s new in the draft constitution?

If the constitution passes, it will allow Saied to continue to rule by decree until the creation of a new parliament after an election set for December.
The text gives him ultimate authority over the government and judiciary. The government would answer to the president and not to parliament. The chamber, however, could withdraw confidence from the government with a two-thirds majority, the gazette said. The move towards a more presidential system would reverse the post-2011 revolution parliamentary model that the country has adopted.
Saied would be allowed to present draft laws, have sole responsibility for proposing treaties and drafting state budgets, appoint or sack government ministers and appoint judges.
The president would be able to serve two terms of five years each, but extend them if they felt there was an imminent danger to the state, and would have the right to dissolve …

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