Status: 07/27/2022 01:29 am
Tunisia adopts controversial new constitution with overwhelming majority 94.6 percent of citizens voted for the draft — just 30.5 percent of the vote. Advocates fear the emergence of an authoritarian regime.
Tunisia’s controversial new constitution was approved by a 94.6 percent majority in a vote boycotted by the opposition, according to preliminary figures. This was announced by IC Election Commission Chairman Farooq Bouskar.
Voter turnout was only 30.5 percent. According to the IC, 2.75 million voters cast their ballots. Even if not even one-third of those eligible to vote did not vote, the Constitution could come into force.
Introducing the new constitution was part of President Qais Syed’s administration Advanced political restructuring. The new constitution provides that the president can appoint and dismiss the government and judges. He should also have the power to dissolve Parliament.
The opposition fears an authoritarian system
Opposition parties and non-governmental organizations fear the North African country will return to autocracy as a result of the constitutional changes.
Both the Islamist Ennahda party and the secular PDL party called for a boycott of Monday’s vote, calling it an “illegal process” without consultation.
Zadok Beloy, a lawyer entrusted by President Said with drafting the constitution, recused himself from the final version. He declared that it would “open the way to totalitarian rule”.
The country is divided
A year ago, Syed sacked the then head of government Parliament was forced to suspend its work. Eventually he dissolved Parliament altogether. The president dismissed dozens of judges on corruption charges.
The country is divided between supporters and opponents of these moves. This has been happening over and over for months Protests for and against the President.
Presidents do not have oversight powers
After the 2010 Arab uprisings, Tunisia was the only country in the region to successfully transition to democracy. However, the new constitution will destroy many democratic achievements.
The new constitution no longer gives the president the power to restrain or remove him from office. Hence the constitutional referendum was also seen as an end to Syed’s previous leadership.
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