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Tunisia: President, PM discuss preparations for July referendum

TUNIS, TUNISIA - JUNE 21: Tunisian President Kais Saied speaks to press as he arrives Tunis-Carthage International Airport to bid farewell to the prospective Hajj pilgrims before their departure to Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj pilgrimage in Tunis, Tunisia on July 21, 2022. ( Yassine Gaidi - Anadolu Agency )
Tunisian President Kais Saied speaks to press as he arrives Tunis-Carthage International Airport to bid farewell to the prospective Hajj pilgrims before their departure to Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj pilgrimage in Tunis, Tunisia on July 21, 2022. [Yassine Gaidi - Anadolu Agency]

Tunisian President Kais Saied yesterday discussed with Prime Minister Najla Bouden the preparations for organising the referendum on the constitution scheduled for 25 July.

A brief statement issued by the Presidency of the Tunisian Republic said that "the meeting discussed the preparations for organising the referendum on the constitution on its scheduled date so that the people express their position freely, and take their final decision away from all desperate attempts of fallacy, misrepresentation and falsification of facts."

On Monday Saied received Monday the draft of the new constitution from the head of the National Consultative Commission assigned to draft the constitution, Sadok Belaid.

National dialogue was launched in Tunisia at the start of June in preparation for holding the referendum on a new constitution. Opposition parties have, however, boycotted the talks while others have been barred from taking part.

TUNIS, TUNISIA - MAY 07: Tunisian Prime Minister Najla Bouden speaks at the ceremony in Tunis, Tunisia on May 07, 2022. ( Yassine Gaidi - Anadolu Agency )

Tunisian Prime Minister Najla Bouden speaks at the ceremony in Tunis, Tunisia on May 07, 2022. [Yassine Gaidi – Anadolu Agency]

Saied has held nearly total power since 25 July 2021 when he sacked the prime minister, suspended parliament and assumed executive authority citing a national emergency.

He appointed Bouden as prime minister on 29 September of the same year and a government has since been formed. In December, Saied announced that a referendum will be held on 25 July to consider 'constitutional reforms' and elections would follow in December 2022.

The majority of the country's political parties slammed the move as a "coup against the constitution" and the achievements of the 2011 revolution. Critics say Saied's decisions have strengthened the powers of the presidency at the expense of parliament and the government, and that he aims to transform the country's government into a presidential system.

TUNIS, TUNISIA - JUNE 19: Supporters of Free Constitutional Party gather to stage a protest against the constitutional referendum, which will be held on July 25, in Tunis, Tunisia on June 19, 2022. ( Yassine Gaidi - Anadolu Agency )

Supporters of Free Constitutional Party gather to stage a protest against the constitutional referendum, which will be held on July 25, in Tunis, Tunisia on June 19, 2022. [Yassine Gaidi – Anadolu Agency]

On more than one occasion, Saied, who began a five-year presidential term in 2019, said that his exceptional decisions are not a coup, but rather measures within the framework of the constitution to protect the state from "imminent danger".

Tunisian President Kais Saied yesterday discussed with Prime Minister Najla Bouden the preparations for organising the referendum on the constitution scheduled for 25 July.

A brief statement issued by the Presidency of the Tunisian Republic said that "the meeting discussed the preparations for organising the referendum on the constitution on its scheduled date so that the people express their position freely, and take their final decision away from all desperate attempts of fallacy, misrepresentation and falsification of facts."

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On Monday Saied received Monday the draft of the new constitution from the head of the National Consultative Commission assigned to draft the constitution, Sadok Belaid.

National dialogue was launched in Tunisia at the start of June in preparation for holding the referendum on a new constitution. Opposition parties have, however, boycotted the talks while others have been barred from taking part.

Saied has held nearly total power since 25 July 2021 when he sacked the prime minister, suspended parliament and assumed executive authority citing a national emergency.

He appointed a prime minister on 29 September of the same year and a government has since been formed. In December, Saied announced that a referendum will be held on 25 July to consider 'constitutional reforms' and elections would follow in December 2022.

The majority of the country's political parties slammed the move as a "coup against the constitution" and the achievements of the 2011 revolution. Critics say Saied's decisions have strengthened the powers of the presidency at the expense of parliament and the government, and that he aims to transform the country's government into a presidential system.

On more than one occasion, Saied, who began a five-year presidential term in 2019, said that his exceptional decisions are not a coup, but rather measures within the framework of the constitution to protect the state from "imminent danger".

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