Tunisian president’s new electoral legislation reduces events’ sway By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – Tunisia’s President Kais Saied speaks to the media as he arrives for the primary day of a European Union- African Union summit on the European Council constructing in Brussels, Belgium, February 17, 2022. John Thys/Pool by way of REUTERS

TUNIS (Reuters) -Tunisia’s president issued an electoral legislation on Thursday decreasing, however not ending, the position of political events in a reformed parliament that can have fewer powers below a structure handed in July.

Beneath the brand new legislation, voters will select candidates within the Dec. 17 election individually moderately than by deciding on a single social gathering checklist – a swap that can weaken the affect of events.

The unilateral modifications are the newest that President Kais Saied has made to Tunisia’s political system since he seized most powers final summer season in a transfer his foes referred to as an anti-democratic coup to ascertain one-man rule.

“We’re passing by means of a brand new stage within the historical past of Tunisia in direction of the sovereignty of the individuals after earlier sham elections,” mentioned Saied throughout a cupboard assembly.

He mentioned political events weren’t being excluded and that accusations constituted “lies and fabrications.”

The primary events throughout Tunisia’s political spectrum have already rejected the legislation, saying they are going to boycott any elections below Saied’s new structure, which has tremendously expanded his powers and eliminated most checks on his actions.

The structure was handed overwhelmingly in a referendum through which official figures confirmed solely 30% of voters took half – although opposition events have accused the authorities of inflating even that low price of participation.

The earlier democratic structure from 2014 enshrined a significant position for parliament, giving it the primary accountability for forming governments, whereas the president had much less direct energy.

Saied’s new structure has as an alternative introduced the federal government instantly below the president, whereas decreasing the affect of a brand new two-chamber parliament.

The brand new decrease chamber will solely have 161 members, in comparison with the 217 beforehand. Particulars of the second chamber, together with how its members can be elected, haven’t but been issued.

The USA has repeatedly voiced concern at what it sees as democratic backsliding below Saied, a political impartial who labored as a constitutional legislation lecturer earlier than working for president in 2019.

He has rejected the criticism, calling it unacceptable interference in home Tunisian affairs, and has denied his actions represent a coup or that he’ll grow to be a dictator.

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