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Tunisia discusses new election law

April 12, 2014 at 3:13 pm

Islamic and liberal parties in the Tunisian Constituent Assembly began on Monday to discuss the new election law, launching the process to set the election’s date and thus making progress on the transition process.

No date has been announced as yet for holding the elections, which will be the second round of elections in the country since the uprising that overthrew former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali more than three years ago. However, this will be the first election under the country’s new constitution that has won international admiration.

The Constituent Assembly, which approved the new constitution in the beginning of this year, began discussing the new election law that includes 167 chapters amidst wide differences over some of them, including whether the presidential and parliamentary elections should be held on the same date or separately, and whether to include or exclude officials who worked with the Ben Ali regime.

In a speech on Monday, MP Azad Bady of the Wafa Party spoke about the need to exclude former regime figures from the election.

Representatives of other parties rejected the chapter regarding political isolation, saying it does not make sense to punish former regime officials again after being deprived of taking part in the last election in 2011.

In light of the broad debate about several controversial chapters, it is expected that the discussion of the election law will take at least two weeks, according to members of the Constituent Assembly.

The ratification of the election law will open the way for an independent election commission to set a deadline for carrying out the elections. It is expected that more than 4.2 million Tunisian voters will take part in the forthcoming elections.

Source: Alamat online – Agencies