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Tunisia’s new constitution inspires hope that political crisis close to resolution

January 28, 2014, 0:26 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, January 27, 22:19 /ITAR-TASS/. The new democratic constitution adopted by an absolute majority of the Tunisian National Constituent Assembly inspires hope that the political crisis in the country is close to resolution, presidential special envoy to Africa and Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Federation Council, upper house of Russian parliament, Mikhail Margelov said on Monday, January 27.

The document “reflects the consensus among political forces achieved three years after the start of the ‘Arab Spring’,” he said, adding that the “almost three-year confrontation between secular forces and the Islamic party of Al-Nahda ended with the exit of the Islamic fundamentalists.”

“They worked on the text [of the constitution] for two years together with the left and liberals,” he noted.

Margelov stressed that the new constitution introduced democratic and secular rules in the country, it “equalises the rights of men and women, and does not proclaim Islam a source of law.”

It proclaims Tunisia “a free, independent and sovereign state and Islam as its religion,” guarantees the freedom of faith and conscience, requires the president to be a Muslim and bans religious violence.

The new government, nominations to which have been sent to the president by Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa, will have to capitalise on the success and prepare presidential and parliamentary elections to be held this year, Margelov said.

“All this allows us to hope that the political crisis in the cradle of the ‘Arab Spring’ is close to resolution,” he said, adding that “the democratic and secular constitution was passed by an absolute majority of the Constituent Assembly - 200 of 217 MPs.”

Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki and the head of the Tunisian National Constituent Assembly, Mustafa Bin Jaafar, signed the new constitution of the country earlier in day. Mazourki told reporters at the signing ceremony that the document signified a victory over dictatorship, but there was still a long way to go to enroot democracy in the country.

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