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Tunisian President Rejects Constitutional Court Amendments

Tunisian President Rejects Constitutional Court Amendments

Monday, 5 April, 2021 - 09:15
Tunisian President Kais Saied in Tunis (AFP/Getty Images)

Tunisian President Kais Saied refused to sign the Constitutional Court Law amendments introduced by the parliament, fearing they would be used to overthrow him.

Saied’s decision further escalates the political tensions between the presidency and parliament, in addition to the government backed by Ennahda Movement.

The president sent a letter to Speaker Rached Ghannouchi, rejecting the amendments, calling for respecting all provisions of the constitution.

Constitutional law experts voiced their concerns that the recent amendments could be used to remove Saied from office.

The parliament approved the ratified revisions of the draft bill for electing members of the Constitutional Court and reduced the number of votes from 145 to only 131.

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

Observers believe Ennahda can obtain the necessary number of votes to pass certain candidates of the Constitutional Court.

Earlier, the president rejected the ministerial amendment carried out by Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi and approved by the parliament.

The Constitutional Court is able to end the president of the republic's term, declaring the position of president vacant, receive the presidential oath and examine disputes related to the jurisdiction of both the president and prime minister.

It plays a pivotal role in monitoring constitutional amendments and treaties, draft laws and procedures related to the parliament's internal system.

Meanwhile, Arab League Sec-Gen Ahmed Aboul Gheit, began Sunday a visit to Tunis, following an official invitation within the framework of coordination and consultation with Tunisia as the current president of the 30th Arab summit.

An official at the League’s General Secretariat said that during the visit, Aboul Gheit is scheduled to meet with the Tunisian president to discuss various Arab issues, including the situation in Libya, the Palestinian cause, and the ongoing Arab crises.

The source stated that the talks between the summit presidency and the General Secretariat include all decisions of the 30th Arab summit. They will also evaluate measures that could be implemented, in light of the exceptional circumstances that the Arab region and the world witnessed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Secretary-General is also expected to meet the Foreign Minister Othman al-Jerandi to discuss issues of common interest between Tunisia and the General Secretariat.

Abul Gheit will meet with directors of specialized Arab organizations operating in Tunisia to discuss the role of the joint Arab action in helping member states mitigate the effects and repercussions of COVID-19.

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