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The powers of the president and the "state religion"... Features of Tunisia's new constitution

The powers of the president and the “state religion”… Features of Tunisia’s new constitution

while you are busy Tunisia prepares for the new constitutionThe Consultative Body for a New Republic announced that the position of head of state will be higher than the constitutional and party structures.

The head of the commission, Sadiq Belaid, revealed in an interview with the official television, today, Tuesday, some of the features of the constitution that is being prepared during this period before it is presented to Tunisians at the end of this month, explaining that the president will choose and appoint the prime minister after the elections, not the party that wins the parliamentary majority. As it was in the 2014 constitution.

Government and Parliament

He pointed out that the government will become in the form of a “governing body” to provide initiatives and control, and charged with the economic system, as it will not have a purely executive authority.

In the event that the president fails to choose the person who heads the government, Belaid said that he can appoint a second person to run it, and if he fails the second time, he will abandon his position and leave the government.

As for Parliament, Belaid revealed that the Parliament will remain at the level of its legislative role only, while the role of the President of the Republic will, in turn, be higher than that of the constitutional and party structures.

He added that the previously created bodies will be abolished in exchange for the creation of new, balanced constitutional bodies.

In addition, he stressed that the new constitution seeks to achieve a balance between the powers of the head of state and the governmental structure, while ensuring cooperation between the various authorities so as not to cause dilemmas as in the past, as he put it.

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state religion

Earlier, the head of the commission stressed that the new constitution would abandon Chapter One of the 2014 constitution, which speaks of Islam as the religion of the state, and which stipulated that “Tunisia is a free, independent, and sovereign state, with Islam as its religion, Arabic as its language, and republic as its system.”

He considered that the post-2011 period was a period of political, economic and security devastation, considering that it brought Tunisia into the abyss, in reference to the Ennahda movement and its activities in Parliament.

Rached Ghannouchi, head of the Ennahda movement (archive – AFP)

The presidential system, powers and the first chapter

It is noteworthy that Tunisians voted in the electronic consultation in favor of adopting the presidential system and abandoning the amended parliamentary system included in the 2014 constitution, which was considered a failed system, accused of scattering power, and causing a struggle over powers and weakening the state.

It is expected that the new draft constitution, after its presentation to the public, provokes widespread controversy in political circles, especially with regard to the first chapter of the constitution, which will delete the Islamic reference to the state, as well as with regard to changing the political system and distributing powers between the three authorities.