Political Impasse in Tunisia

Hend Kortam
2 Min Read
Tunisia's parliament sits in session in Tunis
Tunisia’s parliament sits in session in Tunis

A referendum may be held in Tunisia in order for the Tunisian people to decide if the country will have a parliamentary system or semi presidential system, according to the International Mediterranean News Service Ansamed.

The country’s National Constituent Assembly (NCA) whose members were elected in late 2011 was set up with the task of creating a new constitution for the Northern-most African country.

However, members of the legislature tasked with drafting the constitution cannot seem to agree on what form of government Tunisia should have, which is why a referendum may be needed to sort out the latest political challenge the country is facing.

While the moderate Islamic Ennahda Movement, which has the most seats in the legislature with a plurality of 40 percent of the seats wants a parliamentary system, the two other parties, which are in a coalition with Ennahda Movement, the liberal Congress for the Republic and the Leftist Democratic Forum for Labour and Liberties prefer a semi-presidential system with the powers shared between the President and the Parliament.

In the parliamentary system, the prime minister is chosen based on the results of the parliamentary elections and would have many powers, while the president’s role would be to simply sign bills.

Following the impasse between members of the coalition, Amr El-Chitowy, head of the Legislative and Executive Authorities Committee said that “if the disagreement continues on the matter, a referendum will be called which indicates a political failure and disappointment by the people in their elected officials,” said state-sponsored Middle East News Agency.

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