Interim Tunisian President, Moncef Marzouki, has announced a proposal to complete the writing of Tunisia’s constitution by April. It is hoped that this will allow for presidential elections to be held next September followed by legislative elections in October.
In a press released published by the “El-Khabar” Tunisian newspaper today in its morning issue, Marzouki said he had been successful in persuading the Islamic movement, Al-Nahda, to agree to give up sovereign ministries to the next ministry as demanded by the resistance and the majority of the people.
Furthermore, he explained that Tunisians would not be patient for long if matters remain vague and ambiguous, and if political deadlines to complete the formation of the government and dates for future matters are not set.
In regards to the importance of his agreement, as the first Arab leader, to stand before the investigating judge in the case of politician Chokri Belaid, Marzouki stated that through his actions he intended to convey the message that Tunisia is now under a regime that exercises absolute transparency and has nothing to hide from the public.
He added, “We want to be under a regime that demonstrates the status of the judiciary system, and shows that the president is a citizen that has rights and duties. Therefore, in court, he must behave like any other citizen; this is my understanding of democracy.”
Regarding Tunisia’s efforts to recover smuggled funds and extradite former President Ben Ali from Saudi Arabia as well as other wanted figures abroad, Marzouki said that his country was “…not receiving enough cooperation from other countries to recover the funds, and the criminals knew how to hide the funds well. Moreover, we do not possess adequate techniques to track its path. However we will not give up on this matter. We are now unable to pursue it right now due to other pressing matters; however, once the country stabilizes after the elections, we will work on achieving this.”
He went on to say, “As for the extradition of the criminals in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, our requests are still pending. We are facing a “Tsunami” of internal problems, and our priority now is forming the constitution, holding elections and combating rising prices. We will then be available to deal with these matters.”