Just weeks before Tunisians head to the polls in historic Constituent Assembly elections, politicians are debating what role the legislative body will play in the future of the country.
Parties, independents and intellectuals are divided into two groups. The first group supports a proposal to restrict the task of the Constituent Assembly to creating a new constitution through a referendum on the same day as the October 23rd poll. The other faction, meanwhile, has called for making the assembly a sovereign entity with full powers.
Mohsen Marzouk, Secretary-General of the Arab Organisation for Democracy who came up with the idea of referendum, believes that the role of the Constituent Assembly must be restricted to drafting the constitution, and that the government should proceed with its work until legislative and presidential elections are held within one year. Marzouk expressed fear that members of the Constituent Assembly might not agree on the formation of a new government.
More than 40 parties, including the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP), which was founded by Ahmed Nejib Chebbi, support limiting powers of the assembly.
Others have rejected that idea and accused those involved of trying to “perpetuate tyranny”.
For its part, the interim government denies that. Interim Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi said that the government has nothing to do with the proposal and that this issue should be agreed upon among all political parties.
Full Article: Tunisia debates Constituent Assembly powers (Magharebia.com).