Tunisia –  Kais Saied looks to expand powers in new draft constitution

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Location: Tunis, Tunisia

Language: Arabic

Duration: 00:04:36

Voice: Natural

Source: A24 Tunisia

Restriction: A24 subscribers

Date: 01/07/2022

Storyline:

Tunisians are starting to debate the new constitution proposed Thursday by the government of President Kais Saied .

The new law gives even more powers to the president than the parliament.

Opponents of Said’s consolidation of power last July say that the new constitution disrespects Tunisians expectations for representative government and fails to separate powers – a norm in mature democracies.

Saied’s backers support the draft claiming it’s more democratic because it guarantees equality of opportunity, rights, and freedoms to every citizen.

They also point to its creation of a new ‘Council of Regions’ as the second chamber of parliament.

Shot list:

Soundbite (Bassam Hamdy – political analyst):

“I believe that the constitution meets the wishes of the President of the Republic, Qais Saied, and achieves his political project, which is based on two foundations:

The first is the modified presidential system in which the President of the Republic enjoys more powers than the legislative branch. The second is the structure. Today the legislative branch will be divided into two chambers. I believe that the draft constitution will change the entire system and will push Tunisia towards a new republic.”

Soundbite (Sarhan Al-Nasiri – Alliance for Tunisia Party):

“We believe that this constitution meets the expectations of the Tunisian people and will succeed in the upcoming referendum because it serves the Tunisian people and the Tunisian state. It will not satisfy the previous failed political class. It guarantees rights, freedoms, and equal opportunities for all members of the Tunisian people, and does not set up a dictatorial system.”

Soundbite (Abdel Bariki – Tunisia Forward Movement):

“An initial reading for the draft assures us that most of the texts of this constitution are in line with our orientations in the movement. It enumerates rights and liberties, including freedom of speech, the right to organize in unions, and the right to peaceful gatherings and balances between powers. We now know who is being held accountable; the government is monitored by the House of Representatives. This constitution differs from previous constitutions and establishes a different Tunisia.”

Soundbite (Khaled Al-Dababi – Professor of constitutional law):

“This is similar to the 2014 presidential experience. The 2014 constitution had reservations that led to the July 25 events and election of Qais Saied. The new constitution destroyed Tunisia’s dream of democracy and does not separate powers.”

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