Tunisia – Text of latest constitutional draft

The latest draft of the proposed Tunisian constitution was made public at the end of last month. I have found it hard to find anything other than a copy in Arab. However, there is a version now available in French from here.

For the purposes of this blog, the key thing to note is that the draft is still semi-presidential. The president of the republic is to be elected by universal suffrage (Art. 73) for a term of five years. Interestingly, the president’s specific powers are not very strong (Art. 76). However, the draft does state that the president and the PM (president of the government) jointly determine foreign policy. There are powers to return a bill to the legislature and some powers over referendums but not unilateral powers.

The government is explicitly responsible to the legislature at the time of its formation (Art. 88). The government is also responsible to the Assembly thereafter (Art. 91). There is a constructive motion of no-confidence whereby the government can be dismissed but only on the nomination and approval of another PM (Art. 93).

It has been over 2 years since the jasmine revolution. The constitution drafting process has been very slow. This draft has already been criticised for various elements not related to the president/PM/legislature, but which may require further amendments. So, even if the process is, hopefully, coming towards an end, a popular vote on the text is not yet imminent.

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