Written by Umamah Bakharia
Tunisian president Kais Saied is expected to approve the first draft of the new Constitution today. Saied was handed the draft on Monday as it came less than a month ahead of the referendum planned for 25 July.
The planned referendum marks one year since the power grab by Saied that saw him sack the government and suspend an elected parliament.
The revised Constitution is at the centre of the president’s programme for rebuilding Tunisia’s political system, more than a decade after the revolution that sparked the Arab Spring uprisings.
“It shows how the situation is regressing but also how constitutional changes are very significant,” says analyst Ebrahim Deen. He adds, “it sort of shapes the political and economic situation and shapes solution and the constitution in the way its currently being presented will most likely be passed this month and would actually influence Tunisian politics even beyond Saied.”
The new Constitution removes Article 2, which states that Islam is the country’s religion. “It’s basically how the new Arab dictators are being able to play the media by acting very liberal and progressive,” says Deen.
Although there is not much focus being given to the Tunisian constitution, Egypt, the UAE and Saudi Arabia are in support and have been funding the current regime.
Therefore, Deen says Saeid might not be needing much international help as he is portraying to need.