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Tunisian president rejects parliament bid to amend approval of Constitutional Court

April 7, 2021 at 10:50 am

Tunisian President Kais Saied speaks during a ceremony in Tunis, Tunisia on March 22, 2021 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]

Tunisia’s President Kais Saied said on Tuesday that he had rejected parliament’s attempt to reduce the number of votes needed to approve the formation of a constitutional court, Anadolu reported.

Saied claimed that such amendments were merely introduced in a bid to settle scores, while Al Sharq Al Awsat newspaper said that Saied was afraid that the new amendments were targeting him and give the parliament more power to be able to oust the president.

On Saturday, Saied rejected the amendments related to the Constitutional Court which reduced the number of votes needed to approve the court from 145 to only 131.

The amendment was proposed by Tunisian Parliament Speaker Rachid Ghannouchi to reduce the number of votes constitutionally necessary to pass the members of the court to 109 votes representing the absolute majority.

READ: Tunisia’s Ennahda stresses need to elect members of Constitutional Court

“After more than five years, after a deep sleep, they’ve remembered about the Constitutional Court … I will not accept a court formed to settle accounts,” he said.

Saied added: “They have missed the deadlines … Anyone wanting me to violate the constitution is looking for a mirage.”

The constitution requires the president, parliament, and the judiciary each to name four judges for the court, which then needs the approval of parliament and the signature of the president.

President Kais Saied is in a deadlock with Prime Minister Hichem El Mechichi and his ally Ennahda, which is the major party in the parliament.

The parliament speaker has launched these amendments in an attempt to establish the court in the hope that it might end the political paralysis.