By Alaa Hammoudi
TUNIS, Tunisia (AA) – Tunisian President Kais Saied has issued a presidential decree to form an advisory committee to draft a new constitution, excluding political parties from the process.
The decree named Sadik Belaid, a law professor, to chair the advisory committee.
Belaid will be entrusted with coordinating between two other advisory panels tasked with making proposals for drafting the country’s new constitution. The two panels consist of deans of law and six national organizations, including the powerful UGTT Labor Union.
According to the decree, the two panels will prepare a constitution “that responds to the aspirations of the people and guarantees the principles of justice and freedom in a true democratic system."
The decree said a final report must be submitted to the Tunisian president by June 20.
In January, Saied launched an online survey with the aim of "enhancing citizens' participation in the democratic transition process". He also plans to hold a referendum in July on the shape of the political system in the country.
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.” He later dissolved the parliament in March after lawmakers held a session to revoke his measures.
The North African country is also going through a severe economic crisis aggravated by the coronavirus pandemic amid the ongoing Russian war on Ukraine.
*Writing by Ibrahim Mukhtar