Constituent Assembly of Tunisia

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National Constituent Assembly
المجلس الوطني التأسيسي
al-Majlis al-Waṭanī at-Ta'sīsī
Type
Type
History
Founded 22 November 2011
Leadership
President
Mustapha Ben JafarEttakatol
since 22 November 2011
First Vice-president
Meherzia Labidi Maïza, Ennahda
Second Vice-president
Larbi Ben Salah Abid, CPR
Seats 217
Elections
Party-list proportional representation
Last election
23 October 2011
Meeting place
Bardo, Tunis
Bardo Palace[1]
Website
www.anc.tn

The Constituent Assembly of Tunisia, or National Constituent Assembly (NCA), is the body in charge of devising a new Tunisian constitution for the era after the fall of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and his Constitutional Democratic Rally (RCD)–regime. Convoked after the election on 23 October 2011, the convention consists of 217 lawmakers representing Tunisians living both in the country and abroad.[2] A plurality of members comes from the moderate Islamist Ennahda Movement. The Assembly held its first meeting on 22 November 2011.

Convocation[edit]

Provisionally, a time of approximately one year has been envisioned to develop the new constitution,[3] whereas the convention itself is sovereign to set its own schedule.[2]

Before the first session of the NCA, Ennahda, Congress for the Republic (CPR) and Ettakatol agreed to share the three highest posts in state.[4] Accordingly, the parliament voted Mustapha Ben Jafar (Ettakatol) speaker of the NCA upon being convoked on 22 November.[5] Meherzia Labidi (Ennahda) and Larbi Abid (CPR) were elected vice presidents.[6]

Provisional constitution and presidential election[edit]

On 10 December 2011, the assembly adopted a provisional constitution[7] (Law on the provisional organisation of public powers)[8] According to articles VIII and IX of the document, the requirements for the eligibility as president are exclusive Tunisian nationality (excluding citizens with dual nationality), having Tunisian parentage, religious affiliation to Islam, and an age of 35 years or more.[9] 141 delegates approved of the law, 37 voted against, and 39 abstained.[7]

On 12 December 2011, the NCA elected the human rights activist and CPR leader Moncef Marzouki as the interim President of the Tunisian Republic. 153 delegates voted for him, three against, and 44 votes were blank.[10] Blank votes were the result of a boycott from the opposition parties, who disagreed with the new "mini-constitution".

On 14 December, one day after his accession to office, Marzouki appointed Hamadi Jebali, the secretary-general of the Ennahda Movement as Prime Minister.[11] Jebali presented his government on 20 December,[12] and officially took office on 24 December.

2011 Tunisian presidential election results
Candidacy of Moncef Marzouki of the Congress for the Republic
Choice Votes  %
Yes check.svg For 153 75.7
Against 3 1.5
Blank 44 20.3
Abstentions 2 1.0
Total 202 100.0
Voter turnout 93.1
Electorate 217
Source: AFP[10]

Constitution drafting process[edit]

The actual process of drafting the new constitution started on 13 February 2012. The assembly established six committees, each in charge of one of the individual themes of the constitution. The first commissions is responsible for the preamble and the general principles and amendments. Each of the committees consists of 22 lawmakers and mirrors the strength of the political groups in the assembly proportionally.[13] The most crucial question will be the one of the form of government. While the Islamist Ennahda movement favours a parliamentary system, its secular coalition partners CPR and Ettakatol, as well as most of the minor oppositional parties prefer a semi-presidential republic.[14] The new Tunisian constitution was passed on 26 January 2014.[15]

Party standings[edit]

The party standings as of the election and as of 26 October 2014 were as follows:

Standings in the 2011 Tunisian National Constituent Assembly
Affiliation Members
2011 Election
Results
As of
5 October 2014
Ennahda Movement 89 85
Patriotic Construction Party1 - 3
Congress for the Republic (CPR) 29 12
Wafa Movement2 - 6
Democratic Current2 - 4
Al Iklaa Party2 - 1
Popular Petition/Current of Love 26 7
Voice of the Tunisian People3 - 6
El Amen Party3 - 5
Movement of the Republic4 - 4
Democratic Forum for Labour and Liberties (FDTL) 20 12
Third Alternative5 - 1
Progressive Democratic Party (PDP)6 16
Republican Party (PR)7 - 8
Democratic Alliance Party8 - 10
Reform and Development Party8 - 1
Democratic Modernist Pole (PDM)9 5
Social Democratic Path (VDS)10 - 10
Afek Tounes11 4 3
The Initiative (Almoubadara) 4
Tunisian Workers' Communist Party (PTOL)/Workers' Party (PT) 3
People's Movement/Popular Current 2
Movement of Socialist Democrats (MDS) 2
Free Patriotic Union (UPL) 1 2
Democratic Patriots' Movement (MOPAD) 1
Maghrebin Liberal Party/Maghrebi Republican Party 1
Progressive Struggle Party/Progressive People's Party 1
Democratic Social Nation Party 1
New Destour Party 1
Equity and Equality Party 1
Cultural Unionist Nation Party 1
Call for Tunisia12 - 6
Tunisian Movement for Freedom and Dignity - 1
Tunisian National Front - 1
Independent lists 8 17
Total members 217

Note: 1Split from Ennahda.

2Split from CPR.
3Mostly composed of former members of Popular Petition.
4Split from Popular Petition.
5Split from FDTL.
6Merged into PR.
7Merger of PDP, Afek Tounes, minor parties and independents.
8Split from PDP.
9Dissolved. Most members joined VDS.
10Mostly composed of former members of PDM.
11Merged into PR. Later revived.
12Founded after the 2011 election; was joined by defectors from different parties.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ How Will the First Session of the Constituent Assembly Be Held? – Tunisia Live : Tunisia Live
  2. ^ a b Backgrounder: Basic facts about Tunisian Constituent Assembly election, Xinhua English News, 22 October 2011, retrieved 25 October 2011 
  3. ^ Gamha, Eymen (10 October 2011), Tunisia's Constituent Assembly: How Long Will it Last?, tunisia-live.net, retrieved 25 October 2011 
  4. ^ Tunisia coalition agrees top government posts, BBC News, 21 November 2011, retrieved 23 November 2011 
  5. ^ Ayari, Sadok (22 November 2011), Mustapha Ben Jaafar Elected President of the Constituent Assembly, Tunisia Live, retrieved 23 November 2011 
  6. ^ Ben Ghazi, Myriam (23 November 2011), Day of Tunisia's Historic Democratic Transition, tunisia-live.net, retrieved 12 December 2011 
  7. ^ a b Tunisian assembly adopts provisional constitution, Al Jazeera English, 11 December 2011, retrieved 12 December 2011 
  8. ^ Constituent Assembly resumes works, TAP Tunisian News Agency, 7 December 2011, retrieved 18 February 2012 
  9. ^ Ajmi, Sana (11 December 2011), Discriminatory Qualifications for Tunisia's President Cause Controversy, tunisia-live.net, retrieved 12 December 2011 
  10. ^ a b Ben Salah, Hamida; Larbi, Kaouther (12 December 2011). "Tunisie : Moncef Marzouki succède à Ben Ali comme président "de la 1e république arabe libre"" [Moncef Marzouki succeeds Ben Ali as President "of the 1st free Arab republic"]. AFP (in French). Retrieved 15 March 2011. 
  11. ^ Mzioudet, Houda (14 December 2011), Ennahda's Jebali Appointed as Tunisian Prime Minister, Tunisia-live.net, retrieved 21 December 2011 
  12. ^ Tunisian PM presents new government, AFP, 20 December, retrieved 21 December 2011  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  13. ^ Ben Hassine, Wafa (13 February 2012), Process of Writing Tunisia's New Constitution Begins, Tunisia-live.net, retrieved 18 February 2012 
  14. ^ Fitouri, Samia (10 February 2012), Tunisia Still Undecided Over Form of Government for New Democracy, Tunisia-live.net, retrieved 18 February 2012 
  15. ^ "Tunisia assembly approves new constitution". Al Jazeera English. 26 January 2014. Retrieved 19 October 2014. 

External links[edit]