Tunisia: Constituent Assembly divided over political system

At stake the role of parliament, president

24 July, 10:59

(ANSAmed) - TUNIS - Political parties in Tunisia's Constituent Assembly - Ennahdha, which has relative majority, on one side and most other political factions on the other - are at odds over the future role of parliament and of the president of the republic in the constitution they are drafting. Ennahdha is pushing for a parliamentary system while the other political parties in the assembly would like the president to have a more relevant role than a merely symbolic one.

The stake is high as the outcome of the current debate will define the roles of parliament, the prime minister and the president in post-regime Tunisia.

The parliamentary system endorsed by Ennahdha would have strong political meaning as parliament, which is voted by citizens, would hold the key role in the system and elect the prime minister.

The semi-presidential system would provide for the direct election of the president, granting the role specific functions and more power than in a parliamentary system where a president mostly signs laws and bills.

As an agreement currently appears impossible, Amor Chétou, the president of the Commission on legislative and executive powers of the assembly, has called for a popular referendum to decide the issue.

(ANSAmed).

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