3 May 2013

Tunisia: Marzouki - 'Best Treatment Against Dictatorship Consists in Strengthening Rule of Law'

Carthage — Caretaker President Mohamed Moncef Marzouki said that "the best treatment against dictatorship consists in strengthening mechanisms likely to strengthen the rule of law and reduce the margin of the discretionary power and arbitrariness in the administration of public affairs, in any country."

He also cautioned against "the absence of safeguards meant to prevent the return of dictatorship and arbitrariness in any society."

At the opening, on Friday in Carthage palace, of an international Symposium on the theme "the Creation of an International Constitutional Court: Means to Prevent Grip on the Democratic Institutions," Marzouki underlined the need to institute international structures to conjure the return of dictatorship in any society.

An international constitutional court could be one of these structures, especially as nothing opposes the consecration of such possibility," he said.

After having reminded the scope and the objectives of the Tunisian proposal in favour of the creation of an international constitutional court, Marzouki said in substance: "Several peoples who still live under the yoke of autocratic regimes which respect neither human rights, nor democratic guarantees. Even some supposed democratic regimes are accused of abuse, in violation of their commitments in this field, which provokes serious political and social troubles that could lead to violence."

The President of the Republic called on representatives of the international authorities and experts in international constitutional law to contribute to mature the proposal to create an international constitutional court, in such a manner as to combine the conditions of its adoption by the United Nations.

"We request to all thinkers to present their suggestions on this project telling them, to go one thousand steps you have to start by making the first", he added.

For his part, Secretary-General of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), Vidar Helgesen said that the promotion of human rights passes by the support of the Tunisian proposal in favour of the creation of an international constitutional court but also ordered, he underlined, to remedy some complications related to the states' commitment to respect the democratic standards in terms of transparency of the elections, peaceful transfer of power and the setting up of the rule of law.

He also underlined "a gap between the peoples' aspirations having made revolution against dictatorship and the attitude of their governments." Citing the Tunisian and the Egyptian examples, he considered that the proposal of creating an international constitutional court could contribute to reduce such divide.

In turn, representative of the Konrad-Adenauer Foundation in Tunis considered "pioneer" Tunisia's initiative in favour of the creation of an international constitutional court, the reason for which, he said, the foundation supported it and sponsored it.

He also considered the Arab Spring Revolutions as the "sixth wave of democracy in the world".

The symposium was marked by a lecture of the academics Iyadh Ben Achour, who highlighted the objectives of the Tunisian proposal related to the creation of an international constitutional court. He considered that the Tunisian proposal as "revolutionary and conform to the Tunisian Revolution spirit because it aims to serve the democratic project".

The one-day symposium includes three workshops led by experts in international constitutional law from Africa, Europe, Asia and North America.

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