Tunisia: Parliament's Statement On Accumulation of Positions in HPR and Elected Local Councils

Tunis/Tunisia — The House of People's Representatives (HPR) clarified on Thursday that its elected members are "automatically exempted from elected local councils" once the final results of the parliamentary elections have been announced and are therefore not required to submit justifications to Parliament.

The HPR indicated, in a clarification, a copy of which was provided to TAP, that the Organic Law on Elections and Referendums in Article 35 provides that members of the House of People's Representatives shall not serve as elected members of parliament and members of elected local councils.

Al Bawsala announced on Wednesday that it had initially identified a number of 10 new members of parliament who were members of municipal councils, noting that it had obtained confirmation, after contacting the municipalities concerned, of the resignation of six members of the municipalities, while the other four members had not yet resigned.

The organisation indicated that it had requested access to information from the HPR to verify the resignation of the members mentioned.

Al Bawsala expressed surprise that the House of People's Representatives did not verify that no more positions on municipal councils and the HRP were held before the opening session of the new legislature, making it assume full responsibility for the implementation of the law.

On the other hand, in its clarification, regarding the presence of former MP Habib Kheder at Thursday's consultative meeting at the Bardo Palace, chaired by Rached Ghannouchi, which was attended by representatives of political parties and coalitions, is the prerogative of the Speaker, in accordance with the Rules of Procedure.

The Free Destourian Party, which attended the meeting, issued a statement on the presence of MP Kheder, stating that it had taken place "without any status and without legal status", which "constitutes a serious violation of the practices of the HPR and the regulations governing it, as well as a breach of the inviolability of the sessions, which amounts to administrative corruption requiring accountability".

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