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Future of Tunisia is in the hands of Tunisians: Kais Saied

Tunisia’s president has set up an online voluntary multiple-choice questionnaire to solicit citizen input as he prepares to rewrite the constitution after dismissing parliament last year and ruling by decree.

The news: Tunisia has come up with ways to rewrite the constitution through a MCQ methodology. 

  • According to the survey website, only 276,000 people have participated in the survey in a country of 12 million people, with two weeks until it ends, amid accusations from Kais Saied’s critics that the consultation is a charade.
  • Following his challenge to the elected legislature last summer, the 64-year-old announced in December that he would appoint a committee to rewrite the constitution with public input and put it to a referendum in June.
  • Saied claims his intervention was motivated by a decade of political and economic stagnation caused by a corrupt, self-serving elite.

What’s going on: According to critics, the public consultation in the constitution is intended to give the appearance of inclusion while Saied imposes his preferred political system, the latest step in a march toward near total power.

  • Many political parties, as well as the powerful UGTT labor union, have spoken out against the plan, with some claiming that Saied, a constitutional law professor before entering politics, appeared to be prejudging the survey’s results.

What are they saying: “The future of Tunisia is in the hands of Tunisians, and it is their active participation that will pave the way for a new chapter in Tunisian history based on genuine popular will rather than phony legitimacy,” Saied declared in January.

  • “I believe Tunisia will become a one-man state,” Karim Saqaa, a law student in Tunis, said.
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