Tunisia's National Constituent Assembly opened its debate on the draft constitution on Monday. The ruling Islamist Al-Nahda Party has been criticised by its opponents for the delay in drafting the proposed document.
It is ironic, therefore, that the public debate began about an hour later than its scheduled start time and only 10 per cent of the country's 217 MPs attended the opening session. A report compiled by a leading NGO which monitors the performance of MPs was critical of the turnout. The assembly has been condemned for its slow procedures and the frequent absence of MPs.
Every MP present will have the opportunity to comment on the draft document before a timetable for its ratification is determined. It will need approval by a two-thirds majority in order to pass into law. If it fails to get such a majority, then it will be put to the people of Tunisia in a referendum for their approval.