Why is Tunisia’s new proposed constitution so controversial? | Elections News


Tunisians are voting on a brand new structure put ahead by the president which many individuals within the nation are against.

Tunis, Tunisia – Tunisians are voting in a referendum on Monday to resolve on whether or not to undertake a brand new structure President Kais Saied has pushed for, which, if adopted, will change the nation from its present hybrid parliamentary democracy to at least one giving the president sweeping powers.

Saied’s supporters consider that his new structure will simplify the system of presidency and diminish the political chaos of the final 12 months.

His detractors worry that concentrating govt, legislative and judicial powers within the fingers of 1 individual is the street again to one-man rule, and plenty of of them are planning to boycott the referendum.

Tunisia has been hailed as the one democratic republic within the Arab world.

On January 14, 2011, Tunisia deposed longtime chief President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, bringing an finish to years of strongman rule and oppression.

However whereas free and honest elections adopted and the introduction of a brand new structure in 2014 that included many rights, the previous few years have seen the nation lurching between a number of crises, and ongoing financial difficulties have left many Tunisians feeling pissed off.

What issues has Tunisia confronted?

  • Tunisia has handled severe issues from vital “terrorist” assaults, the recruitment of younger individuals to the ISIL (ISIS) group (ISIS) group, mass unemployment, corruption, and an financial disaster.
  • Most of the issues have been positioned on the nation’s political events, significantly Ennahdha, which has emerged from all of the parliamentary elections held since 2011 with probably the most votes. Previously related to the Muslim Brotherhood, Ennahdha now describes itself as a “Muslim Democrat” occasion. Opponents say the occasion has not accomplished sufficient to deliver in regards to the change promised within the 2011 revolution, however Ennahdha says that it has actively labored along with different events in an try to be inclusive.
  • In September 2019, Tunisia held parliamentary and presidential elections however they have been mired in controversy, with the imprisonment of presidential candidate Nabil Karoui and accusations of political manipulation by way of social media.
  • On October 14, 2019, Kais Saied, a retired college lecturer who ran as an unbiased, received a landslide victory to change into president. He’s a populist who’s seen by many as an efficient approach to cease what they regard as a “corrupt” political elite however a rising opposition worries in regards to the impact he’s having on Tunisia’s democracy and has referred to as for a boycott of Monday’s vote.

Why is Saied altering the structure?

  • A political outsider, Saied has mentioned that he doesn’t consider within the nation’s established political events, and proposed an alternate system primarily based on centralised presidential energy and elected regional councils.
  • Saied blames Tunisia’s crises on the nation’s political system, the place a parliament shares energy with the presidency.
  • Saied believes {that a} sturdy presidency is required as an alternative, which is able to allow the officeholder to behave shortly and decisively.

What has occurred since Kais Saied grew to become president?

  • Saied’s interval in workplace has not run easily and has been marked with battle.
  • In March 2020, Tunisia went right into a full lockdown to stop the unfold of COVID-19. By 2021, debilitated by the pandemic, civil unrest erupted, adopted by weeks of protests. Police reacted by arresting individuals en masse.
  • July a lethal wave of the Delta pressure sweeps the nation, straining the well being service whereas chaos rages within the parliament with members exchanging blows within the chamber.
  • On 17 July 2021, a bunch calling itself the July 25 Motion referred to as on Tunisians to take to the road on Tunisia’s independence day to ask the president to intervene. Protests on July 25 adopted and that night Saied introduced a interval of outstanding measures, the place he sacked the federal government and suspended parliament.
  • Many Tunisians celebrated, significantly following a crackdown on political opponents. Saied’s critics referred to as it a coup.

Why are Saied’s opponents so frightened?

  • On 22 September 2021, Saied declared that he would rule by presidential decree. This raised reminiscences of the previous rule of Ben Ali.
  • Saied dissolved democratic establishments, together with the Superior Judicial Council and parliament, drawing worldwide criticism.
  • Whereas Saied invited others to work on a brand new structure, he ultimately revealed his personal draft on June 30. The person tasked with drafting the structure additionally got here out to criticise the doc that was revealed by Saied, distancing himself from it.
  • The brand new structure, amongst different issues, will permit Saied to rule by decree till a brand new parliament is elected in December, and can give him final authority over parliament.

Are individuals actually ?

  • In January, Saied launched a web-based individuals’s session on a brand new structure, however solely 450,000 individuals took half.
  • The electoral authority says greater than 9 million Tunisians have registered to vote, in contrast with seven million who registered for the 2019 election. Nonetheless, polls predict a low turnout of simply 10-15 % of the citizens and the reported turnout for Tunisians dwelling overseas, who’ve already voted, was between 4.5 % and 6.5 %.
  • Regardless of that, Article 139 of Saied’s structure says that after the votes are all counted, the structure will probably be enacted.

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