Nahda made biggest concessions for new Tunisia constitution

Tunisian Ennahdha Party that elected in the wake of dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's 2011 overthrow, agreed in October to step down as part of a political road map brokered by mediators

Nahda made biggest concessions for new Tunisia constitution

World Bulletin/News Desk

Having overcome a political crisis in the summer which threatened to derail their democratic transition, Tunisians are finalising a new constitution praised by all sides for embodying a genuine spirit of compromise and consensus.

The National Constituent Assembly finished approving all the articles of the charter, and was expected to hold a vote on the entire document.

According to Heba Saleh who looks at the new constitution at the Financial Times article, the biggest concessions were made by Nahda, the foremost political force. It had earlier agreed to give up its leadership of the interim coalition government to make way for a technocratic administration as part of a deal mediated by the powerful general trades union aimed at unblocking the political situation and enabling progress on the constitution.

“What happened in Egypt was an earthquake,” Rachid Ghannouchi, the leader of the party told the Financial Times.

“I think Nahda saw the non-reaction by the international community and thought if it can happen in Egypt, it can happen here too,” said a Western diplomat.

Nahda also made concessions on the substance of the charter accepting what some describe as an “almost secular constitution”.

The document says that Islam is the religion of the Tunisian state, but makes no mention at all of Islamic sharia law, according to Saleh. The constitution enshrines freedom of expression and belief and provides for a “civil state”, based on the “will of its people and the primacy of law”.

Last Mod: 25 Ocak 2014, 17:16
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