Why is Tunisia’s new proposed constitution so controversial?

by | Jul 25, 2022 | World

EXPLAINERTunisians are voting on a new constitution put forward by the president which many people in the country are opposed to.Tunis, Tunisia – Tunisians are voting in a referendum on Monday to decide on whether to adopt a new constitution President Kais Saied has pushed for, which, if adopted, will change the country from its current hybrid parliamentary democracy to one giving the president sweeping powers.
Saied’s supporters believe that his new constitution will simplify the system of government and diminish the political chaos of the last year.
His detractors fear that concentrating executive, legislative and judicial powers in the hands of one person is the road back to one-man rule, and many of them are planning to boycott the referendum.
Tunisia has been hailed as the only democratic republic in the Arab world.
On January 14, 2011, Tunisia deposed longtime leader President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, bringing an end to years of strongman rule and oppression.
But while free and fair elections followed and the introduction of a new constitution in 2014 that included many rights, the past few years have seen the country lurching between several crises, and ongoing economic difficulties have left many Tunisians feeling frustrated.
What problems has Tunisia faced?

Tunisia has dealt with serious problems from significant “terrorist” attacks, the recruitment of young people to the ISIL (ISIS) group (ISIS) group, mass unemployment, corruption, and an economic crisis.
Many of the problems have been placed on the country’s political parties, particularly Ennahdha, which has emerged from all the parliamentary elections held since 2011 with the most votes. Formerly associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, Ennahdha now describes itself as a “Muslim Democrat” party. Opponents say the party has not done …

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