27 April 2014

Tunisia: National Dialogue to Resume Monday Contentious Issues in Election Law On Agenda

Tunis — National dialogue will resume, on Monday, at the seat of the Justice, Human Rights and Transitional Justice Ministry, President of the Tunisian League for the Defence of Human Rights (LTDH) Abdessatar Ben Moussa told TAP on Sunday.

It will carry on examining points at issue in the draft law on elections and the referendum which the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) started examining article by article on April 18, Ben Moussa indicated.

The committee tasked with coordination between the NCA and the National dialogue will meet with jurists, on Monday, to discuss bones of contention in this bill and the best legal formulae to reach a consensus before the start of the national dialogue at 3PM, he pointed out.

Wednesday's national dialogue meeting discussed the simultaneous or separate holding of presidential and legislative elections.

Debate on the main areas of disagreement in the electoral law was deferred pending its examination by the Consensus Committee.

Deputy Secretary-General of the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) Samir Cheffi said, on Wednesday, that these issues will be examined during national dialogue meetings if the Consensus Committee fails to bridge differences.

Assistant Rapporteur of the General Legislation Committee at the NCA Sana Mersni (Ennahdha) told TAP it is unlikely that these issues will be referred to the national dialogue since the Consensus Committee brings together representatives of all parliamentary blocs as well as independents.

The representatives of the Democratic group, except for the Republican Party, withdrew on Saturday from the Consensus Committee meeting because of failure to arrive at a compromise.

The divergences concern 30 pieces of legislation of political and technical nature, particularly Article 167 on political exclusion, Article 128 on assisting illiterate voters in polling booths and Article 74 on the funding of electoral campaigns.

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