Tunisia's president issues decree to amend electoral commission law

Saied's amendment allows him to appoint head, members of elections commission.

Tunisia's president issues decree to amend electoral commission law

Tunisian President Kais Saied on Friday issued a decree to amend the basic law of the country's elections commission known as the Independent High Authority for Elections. 

Under Saied's decree, the commission will be reformed with seven members, including three judges and an information specialist and all shall be appointed by the president himself.

The elections commission was established in 2011 as a constitutional body and supervised the general elections in Tunisia as of October 2011. It comprised nine independent members elected by the parliament based on the two-third majority vote.

The new decree also gives power to Saied to appoint the head of the elections commission as well as to relieve any of the commission's members based on reports raised to him.

In previous statements, the head of the commission Nabil Baffoun rejected any changes in the commission's law.

On April 6, Saied had announced his intention to change the structure of the elections commission before it supervised any upcoming elections.

Tunisia has been in the throes of a deep political crisis since July 25, 2021, when Saied dismissed the government, suspended parliament, and assumed executive authority, in a move decried by opponents as a “coup.”

The North African country is also going through a severe economic crisis aggravated by the coronavirus pandemic amid the ongoing Russian war on Ukraine.

Last month, Saied dissolved the suspended parliament, shortly after lawmakers convened a plenary session to overturn his measures.