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Voting on the final chapters in Tunisia’s constitution

March 8, 2014 at 4:42 pm

The Tunisian Constituent Assembly (parliament) continued on Tuesday to vote on the final chapters of the new draft constitution. Some disagreement over the formulation of some chapters still exists, including those that deal with running for president and freedom of belief.

On Monday, the House of Representatives ratified chapters 62, 64 and 73 that had been dropped previously, as well as chapter 74 after some amendments. It also introduced amendments to 11 chapters, mainly minor amendments deleting and adding phrases to improve the text.

Monday’s session ended with a protest by a number of parliamentary blocs and independents after the ratification by a majority of 111 votes to 60 over chapter 73, which sets out the conditions for candidates running for president. The apparently controversial chapter doesn’t specify an age ceiling, whereas a previous draft set a maximum of 75 years. It also allows those who have dual nationalities to run, on the condition that the candidate gives up the non-Tunisian nationality if elected president. Further discussions on this are expected before another vote is taken.

Voting on chapter 35 about the right to strike is also expected to take place, in addition to chapter 10 about the transitional arrangements. According to Al-Jazeera correspondent Mohammed El-Bekkali, some of the parliamentarians want to exclude judges and military and security officials from the right to strike.