Tunisian Constitution to be Delayed till 2013
Habib Khedher, the committee head in charge of drafting Tunisia’s new constitution, announced that the document will not be ready until February 2013, four months later than the October 2012 date promised by the government until now. A new official timetable will be discussed at a National Constituent Assembly meeting on September 3.
Meanwhile, President Moncef Marzouki met with six civil society representatives from Sidi Bouzid Sunday in response to recent protests, which turned violent last Thursday when police injured five participants with rubber bullets and tear gas. The meeting addressed the “history of economic marginalization” in the city, and the participants reportedly expressed satisfaction with the discussion. Still, a major strike and protest rally are scheduled for Tuesday in Sidi Bouzid to continue pressure. Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali Sunday night said on radio that the city will see “revolutionary economic development,” and hinted at a potential reshuffling of government officials. The remarks were an about face from prior Ennahda party statements that had downplayed the remands of protesters in the city.
In addition, women’s rights activists held [French] a demonstration on Monday, Tunisia’s National Women’s Day, to protest a proposed constitutional article that refers to women’s rights as complimentary to men’s. Several participating organizations have launched a petition that already has 16,000 signatures which calls for the controversial line to be replaced by one declaring women equal in title to men.