Tunisia approves new constitution, names new caretaker cabinet

Eurasia News

TUNIS: The Tunisia’s national assembly has approved a new constitution of the country, ending a deadlock triggered by the assassinations of opposition leaders Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi in February and July last year.

The approval came hours after the country’s Prime Minister-designate Mehdi Jomaa named a new caretaker cabinet appointed to ease a crisis between Islamists and secular opposition until new elections later this year.

“This constitution was the dream of Tunisians, this constitution is proof of the revival of the revolution, this constitution creates a democratic civil nation,” the assembly chief Mustapha Ben Jaafar said.

Tunisia, the birthplace of pro-democracy protests across North Africa and the Middle East, has been struggling with a democratic changeover since the overthrow of its Western-backed dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011.

Meanwhile, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon praised Tunisia for the adoption of its new constitution, saying the North African nation could be used as an example for other countries.

In a statement issued by his spokesman Martin Nesirky, the UN chief said that Tunis had reached “another historic milestone with the adoption today of the country’s new constitution.”

“Strengthening the democratic institutions created by the constitution and related laws will help promote accountability and the rule of law with full respect to human rights,” Ban added.