Tunisia: NCA Adopts Articles 7, 8 and 9 of IHAE Bill

Bardo — The National Constituent Assembly (NCA) adopted, on Tuesday morning in a plenary session, Articles 7, 8 and 9 of the bill on the Independent High Authority for the Elections (IHAE).

The session, which started at 9:30 a.m., was suspended by NCA Speaker Mustapha Ben Jaafar because of the lack of quorum, as only 80 representatives attended. Works resumed one hour later to discuss Article 7 on the criteria of IHAE candidacy, subject of disagreement.

Two deputies boycotted the plenary session in protest against contents of the seventh point of this Article which prevents the disbanded Constitutional Democratic Rally (RCD) members from bidding for the IHAE.

Finally, the NCA members adopted Article 7 which notably mentions that the candidate to the IHAE should meet the voter's criteria and be aged at least 35 years, independent, neutral and competent. The candidate should neither have been member of a party, during the last five years, nor have assumed responsibility within the disbanded RCD, nor as government member, governor, delegate or Omda, under the Ben Ali regime, nor supported the ousted President's bidding for a new term.

Article 8 pertaining to the election of the IHAE vice-president was adopted after a long debate on the relation between the latter and Article 6 pertaining to the IHAE line up whose adoption was delayed.

According to Article 8 in its initial version, the elected members hold their first meeting to choose the vice-president with consensus, otherwise with absolute majority.

Article 9, which was adopted after changes grants one six-year term to the Authority, with renewing one third of its members every two years.

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