Tunisian president forms committee to create constitution for 'New Republic'

Tunisian president forms committee to create constitution for 'New Republic'
Tunisia's President Kais Saied said in a televised speech on Sunday that a committee will be formed and tasked with writing a constitution for a 'New Republic'
2 min read
02 May, 2022
Saied said the committee will conclude its work within a few days [Getty- archive]

Tunisian President Kais Saied announced on Sunday that a "high committee" will be tasked with drafting a constitution for a "New Republic".

Saied, who fired Tunisia's prime minister and suspend parliament last year in a move widely decried as a "coup," said "traitors and non-nationalists" will not participate in the committee during a televised speech marking Eid al-Fitr and Labour Day.  

The new constitution, which could rewrite democratic principles introduced after the 2011 revolution, is expected to be concluded over the next few days.  

The "high committee will consist of two sub-committees," the retired law professor said according to local media Agence Tunis Afrique Presse. 

One will be responsible for "the national dialogue" on reforms and include a number of unions, such as the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) and the Tunisian League for the Defence of Human Rights (LTDH), Saied added. 

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The President was keen to emphasise in Sunday’s speech that the "national dialogue" would be "different" from previous committees, and only be open to those who "embraced" his policies. 

In July 2021, Saied invoked emergency powers, fired the prime minister and suspended parliament. 

While some supported the measure for providing a necessary shake-up in Tunisian politics, others derided the move as a power grab. 

Over the past year, Saied has taken control of the judiciary and seized the country’s election commission, saying he would replace most of its members just last month. 

Mr Saied said his actions were both legal and necessary to save Tunisia from a crisis. He plans to hold a referendum over the new constitution next month.