March 7, 2021

Tunisia advances the elections to September 15 after the death of the president

The Independent Superior Election Instance (ISIE), an institution in charge of supervising and overseeing the consultation, decided today to advance the presidential elections scheduled for the end of November to 15 September, said its spokesman, Hasna Ben Slimane.

The decision was adopted a few hours after the death of the country's president, Beji Caïd Essebsi, at 92 years of age was known, and the interim head of state passed to the president of Parliament, Mohamad Enneceur, 85 years old. equally delicate health, and aims to avoid a possible power vacuum.

Enneceur, who took office Thursday at the headquarters of the assembly in the presence of the President of the Government and possible candidate for the presidency, Yusef Chahed, had three months to convene crucial presidential elections for the consolidation of democracy in the only country that has Survived the Arab springs.

At this time the politician must also deal with the constitutional labyrinth that has occurred due to Essebsi's controversial decision not to ratify the amendments approved a month ago by Parliament to the electoral law, which has introduced Tunisia in a political maze.

According to the son of the president and general secretary of the ruling Nida Tunis party, Hafed Caïd Essebsi, the president decided not to certify the reforms by considering that they are "exclusive" and therefore injurious to the transition.

Among other changes, the amendments tighten the requirements to run for the presidential candidacy, something that prevents several independent candidates from appearing despite the fact that some polls put them in the lead.

And they also facilitate the return to the political and electoral life of the old guard who escorted the ousted President Zinedin el Abedin Ben Ali, during whose dictatorship Essebsi briefly served as president of Parliament.

According to specialists, Essebsi had several options before July 13, none of which he chose to: ratify the text, forward it to the Assembly for a second reading, whose approval required three fifths of the deputies, or submit it to a referendum.

Others argue that, after the deadline, the law is automatically promulgated in accordance with the Constitution and can be published in the Official State Gazette for immediate application.

Two weeks later, the Provisional Instance for the Control of the Constitutionality of Draft Law (IPCCPL) rejected the appeal of unconstitutionality presented by 51 deputies against said amendments "in their substance but not in their form", without giving further details.

The IPCCPL acts in the absence of the Constitutional Court, pending creation since 2015, and whose judicial independence has been questioned several times as well as the selection of its members.

In this context, ISIE has recommended to its regional administrations to apply the current electoral law.

. (tagsToTranslate) Tunisia (t) advances (t) elections (t) September (t) president

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