Tunisia Approves New Constitution

Photo Credit: Al-Jazeera

Tunisia’s National Assembly approved a new constitution today by an overwhelming majority. The constitution is expected to be signed by the president, the prime minister, and the speaker of the assembly tomorrow. According to Tunisia Live, “It will replace the 1956 constitution drafted when Tunisia gained its independence from France.” The vote also came right after new Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa announced his cabinet of the caretaker government that will govern the country until the next elections. According to Al-Jazeera,”The new constitution, seen as one of the most progressive in the region, guarantees equal rights for men and women,” in addition to demanding that the state must protect the environment and tackle corruption. “This constitution, without being perfect, is one of consensus,” said assembly speaker Mustapha Ben Jaafar after the vote. “We had today a new rendezvous with history to build a democracy founded on rights and equality.” ABC News reported that, “The new constitution sets out to make the North African country of 11 million people a democracy, with a civil state whose laws are not based on Islamic law.” Al-Jazeera stated that, in the new government under Jomaa, Hakim Ben Hammouda, an economist with experience at the African Development Bank, will be the finance minister and Mongi Hamdi, a former UN official, will be the foreign minister.

Nazanine Moshiri said that Tunisians see Jomaa as a unifier, and as someone who can hold the country together until new elections are held.”All these political wrangling seems to be over for now,” she said.

No date has been set for elections, though they are due this year.