Tunisian Constitution Panel Head Blasts President’s Draft | World News

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(Corrects paragraph 7 to refer to a chapter, not the first chapter)

TUNIS (Reuters) -The head of Tunisia’s constitution committee blasted a proposed constitution published by President Kais Saied, local media reported on Sunday, reinforcing opposition fears that Saied was seeking to impose a unilateral charter.

Sadok Belaid, a former constitutional law professor was named by Saied to draft a “new constitution for a new republic”, said Saied’s version was dangerous and did not resemble the first draft proposed by the constitution committee, the Assabeh newspaper said.

The president has not commented on the constitution since he published the text on Thursday in Tunisia’s official gazette. The constitution, which would give Saied near-absolute powers, will be put to a referendum this month.

His proposal would dilute the roles of the parliament and judiciary, prompting accusations he is undoing democratic gains that Tunisians won in a 2011 revolution.

A chapter of the proposed constitution includes the phrase, “In case of the imminent danger, the president can extend his term.” Belaid said this would “pave the way for a disgraceful dictatorship”.

Saied last year used an “imminent danger” clause in the current constitution to dismiss the government and control executive powers, establishing one-man rule.

His proposed constitution would create a Council of Regions as a second chamber of parliament but gives no details on how it would be elected or what powers it would have.

(Reporting By Tarek Amara; Editing by David Gregorio and William Mallard)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.

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