16 March 2013

Tunisia: President Marzouki - Constitution Must Prevent Return of Dictatorship

Carthage — Caretaker President Moncef Marzouki said the new Constitution of Tunisia should be geared towards preventing the return of dictatorship.

This requires deep reflection, good knowledge of other peoples' experiences and pertinent distribution of powers, particularly the two heads of the executive power, he said.

Marzouki said at the opening of a conference-debate on the Constitution held on Saturday at Carthage Palace that preventing the return of dictatorship needs explicit and clear entrenchment of all individual and collective freedoms in the Constitution, so that no room is left to interpretations.

The new constitution should mark a turning point in Tunisia's history and protect the future generation from corruption, he underlined.

Marzouki also called to complete the Constitution in the shortest terms to meet the expectations of the Tunisian people who are running out of patience.

He called for abandoning, in the draft Constitution, such formulas as "as defined in law", to avoid that any restrictions of rights and liberties persist."

"The formula entails risks since it allows judges, in the name of the law, to violate the rights of Tunisians, through they are guaranteed by the constitution," he indicated.

Besides, Marzouki stressed the need to strengthen the role of the civil society in defending rights and freedoms, to protect the new generation against the return of dictatorship and tyranny.

He emphasised the importance of the role of the Constitutional Court which, according to him, should not only have a consultative role but also a real decision-making authority to protect rights and freedoms.

Academics, lawyers and National Constituent Assembly members took part in this debate organised by the judicial department of the Presidency of the Republic.

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