Creating new perspectives since 2009

Tunisia: Debate over new Parliament ‘rebellion’ against president

April 15, 2023 at 2:20 pm

Tunisian President dissolves parliament in ‘power grab’ move

Amendments made by the Tunisian Parliament to its internal regulations has sparked a heated debate, especially regarding the cancellation of the proxy withdrawal and the non-disclosure of gains for MPs, which contradicts the new Constitution drafted by President Kais Saied. This led the opposition to speak of signs of a “rebellion” by Parliament members against Saied.

On Friday, the Parliament approved a proposal to amend Article 3 of the draft internal regulations, which includes deleting the last paragraph relating to withdrawing a deputy’s proxy according to the conditions stipulated by the electoral law. This provision is also stated in Article 61 of the new Constitution.

The Parliament also approved a second amendment proposal for Article 4 of the mentioned draft, which stipulates that MPs are not required to disclose gains and conflicts of interest. This decision was justified by the suspension of the activities of the Anti-Corruption Authority (responsible for this procedure), according to the exceptional measures of President Saied.

Former MP Majdi Al-Karbaoui sarcastically posted on social media: “O Saied, the group in dark rooms are conspiring against you! They removed the proxy withdrawal clause from the internal regulations of the Parliament, which contradicts your esteemed Constitution.”

One activist commented: “Backtracking on the proxy withdrawal from the coup Parliament.”

READ: Tunisia media authority rejects government’s authoritarian behaviour

Political activist Mohamed Al-Brahmi wrote: “Unfortunately, the new Parliament has deviated from the path of the people’s will and has become self-protective! The Constitution of 25 July was put to a referendum by the people’s will, and the new Parliament wants to amend or cancel the proxy withdrawal from the deputy. We are not surprised that some chapters will be amended, taking us back to the infamous decade of devastation.”

He added: “The people’s deputies are protecting themselves from the people! Beware of the people’s anger and deceiving them again. One of the reasons for the overthrow of the previous Parliament was denying the people’s will, and it is foolish to repeat the same mistakes. No to amending the proxy withdrawal law.”

Activist Hala Al-Omri wrote: “They ran for office with the Constitution of 25 July. Once they entered Parliament, they wanted to abolish the proxy withdrawal clause, then cancel the Constitution. And then impeach the president! Any attempt by members of the House of Representatives to pass unconstitutional chapters will be subject to the law, and the withdrawal of the proxy is a Constitutional provision that cannot be backtracked,” calling on President Saied to dissolve the new Parliament.

Hicham Al-Ajebouni, a leader in the Democratic Current party, asked: “How do you fight corruption in the land of towering height?” He said, ‘You close the Anti-Corruption Authority, ignore the law that imposes the disclosure of gains, and charge the new Parliament with voting to repeal the law.’”

READ: Tunisian police violently disperse African migrants