Tunisia’s president says constitutional referendum, elections next year

The referendum date is Tunisia’s Republic Day and the anniversary of Saied’s suspension of parliament



Tunisian president Kais Saied. — AFP file
Tunisian president Kais Saied. — AFP file

By Reuters

Published: Tue 14 Dec 2021, 1:43 AM

Tunisia’s President Kais Saied said on Monday he would call a constitutional referendum next July, a year to the day after he seized broad powers in moves his opponents call a coup, and that parliamentary elections would follow at the end of 2022.

Laying out the timeline for his proposed political changes in a televised speech, Saied said the referendum would take place on July 25, following an online public consultation that will start in January.

The referendum date is Tunisia’s Republic Day and the anniversary of Saied’s suspension of parliament and dismissal of the prime minister.

Saied in September brushed aside most of the 2014 democratic constitution to say he could rule by decree during a period of exceptional measures, and promised a dialogue on further changes.

He said in Monday’s speech that parliament would remain suspended until Tunisians vote for a replacement assembly on December 17, 2022, the date he has declared to be the anniversary of the revolution that introduced democracy.

“We want to correct the paths of the revolution and history,” he said, after lambasting critics of his intervention.

Saied said he would appoint a committee of experts to draft a new constitution, to be ready by June ahead of the referendum.


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