US ‘concerned’ over Tunisia’s new constitution

The US says it “shares concerns” that Tunisia’s new constitution could weaken democracy and erode respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

It comes after the approval of a new Tunisian constitution that gives sweeping powers to the president in the 25 July referendum marked by low voter participation.

The referendum, which delivered a yes vote of 94.6% with a turnout of 30.5% – was boycotted by opposition parties.

The US State Department has urged an “inclusive and transparent process” in future that would involve Tunisians who did not participate or opposed the referendum.

In a statement, it said Tunisia had “experienced an alarming erosion of democratic norms over the past year” and reversed gains made since the popular uprising of 2011.

“Since July 25, 2021, the suspension of constitutional governance, consolidation of executive power, and weakening of independent institutions have raised deep questions about Tunisia’s democratic path, both in Tunisia and internationally,” it said.

President Kais Saied dismissed parliament a year ago and has been ruling largely by decree.

source: bbc

Ray Charles Marfo

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