World Bulletin / News Desk
The leader of Tunisia's ruling Ennahda Islamist party has asserted that the endorsement of the country's constitution makes Tunisia a "role model" in the Arab region.
"The endorsement of a consensual, democratic constitution signals the advancement of the Tunisian revolution and will definitely have a good impact on other Arab Spring countries," Rachid al-Ghannouchi told Anadolu Agency.
The 217-member National Constituent Assembly (NCA) approved the country's new constitution - the first since the ouster of autocratic president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali three years ago – late Sunday.
As many as 200 lawmakers voted in favor of the new charter, while 12 voted against. Four legislators abstained. The remaining NCA member had died earlier this week.
The document required the endorsement of two-thirds of assembly members to pass.
Al-Ghannouchi accused some countries of trying to export the "counter-revolution experience" to Tunisia, insisting that Tunisia will affect others with its own experience.
"But we will not interfere in the affairs of other countries," he asserted.
The Ennahda leader did not name any of these countries in question, but he has repeatedly criticized the army's ouster of elected Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi as a "coup against legitimacy."
Al-Ghannouchi said the democratic experience in Tunisia will be "the best response to those who claim that democracy does not fit Arab and Islamic countries."
Two years in the making and now in its third draft, the document is a carefully worded blend of ideas that has won the support of both Ennahda, the Islamist party that leads the assembly, and the secular opposition.
Ennahda had to scrap many of its original demands for the constitution.
The draft stipulates that Islam is the religion of Tunisia and the preamble recognizes Tunisian's Arab-Muslim identity.
The first two articles lay out the balance between Islamist and secular views in careful language that is not subject to amendment by future governmentsLast Mod: 27 Ocak 2014, 17:48