Tunisia releases draft of new constitution to public

FILE PHOTO: Tunisia's President Kais Saied./ Fethi Belaid/Pool
Map of Tunisia

Tunisia on Thursday published the draft of a new constitution on its official bi-weekly gazette.

The draft constitution, published on the Journal of the Republic of Tunisia, comprises 10 chapters and 142 articles, with Article 1 stipulating that Tunisia is a republic with a presidential system.

Earlier on the day, the Independent High Authority for Elections announced that nearly 9.3 million Tunisians have registered to vote in the referendum on the new constitution scheduled for July 25.

None of the major parties, including the Islamist Ennahda which is the biggest in parliament and has played a major role in successive coalition governments since the revolution, issued immediate comment on the draft constitution.

Under the new draft, President Kais Saied expands his own powers and limits the role of parliament in a vote most political parties have already rejected.

With most of the political establishment opposed to his moves and urging their supporters to boycott the vote, analysts say the measure is likely to pass, but with only limited public involvement.

According to Reuters, many Tunisians are far more focused on a growing economic crisis and threats to public finances that have caused salary delays and the risk of shortages of key subsidised goods.

(With input from Xinhua, Reuters)