Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Tunisia opposition walks out of talks

02 July 2013, 07:26

Tunis - Dozens of opposition deputies walked out of Tunisia's constitutional assembly on Monday to protest against the final draft of a new post-Arab Spring constitution.

The cradle of the pro-democracy uprisings that wracked the Middle East and North Africa in 2011, Tunisia has been closely watched as it works its way through a democratic transition marred by economic crisis, violence and the struggle between Islamists and secularists over the nation's identity.

The walkout by opposition deputies singing the national anthem forced parliament speaker Mustapha Ben Jaafar to close the session shortly after opening it.

Opposition deputy Nadia Chaabane accused the ruling moderate Islamist party of altering the final draft of the constitution written by the assembly's committees, prompting the walkout.

The constitutional assembly has been writing the nation's new charter since it was elected in October 2011, taking eight months longer than its allotted year as the nation's economy has suffered, provoking further social unrest.

The assembly and the government is dominated by the moderate Islamist Ennahda Party that was severely repressed by Ben Ali and now rules in coalition with two secular parties.

The opposition accuses Ennahda of trying to write a constitution that would increase the religious character of society, and the draft has already been modified three times in debates over references to Islam, the role of women and guarantees for personal freedoms.

The debate over each article of the constitution is expected to last for much of the rest of the summer, including the holy month of Ramadan, set to begin in about a week.

If the document does not pass with two thirds support of the assembly - which would mean with some opposition backing - it will go to a public referendum.

Elections for a permanent parliament, and therefore government, were to be held in July but have been postponed to the end of 2013.

They are widely expected to be further delayed to spring 2014.

- AP


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...