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Tunisia: New Constitution Adopted by National Assembly

(Jan. 28, 2014) On January 27, 2014, the National Assembly of Tunisia approved the final draft of the country’s Constitution. Two hundred members of the legislature, exceeding the two-thirds majority required for passage, voted in favor of the new document. The new Constitution will replace the 1956 Constitution, which was drafted after Tunisia won independence from France. The new constitution kept the provision that was in the 1956 Constitution that provides that Islam is the religion of the state. The new constitution also mentions in article 2 that Tunisia is a civil state, to ensure the nature of the secular governance. (The Tunisian Constitution of January 2014 [in Arabic], the National Assembly official website.)

In spite of the fact that the process of drafting the Constitution was planned to take only one year, it took two years because of political disputes and the assassination of two key political figures. (The National Assembly Begins the Session of Signing the New Constitution [in Arabic], AL JAZEERA (Jan. 27, 2014).)

The new Constitution must be signed by the President, the Prime Minister, and the Speaker of the Assembly in order to take effect. It will come into force from the day it is published in the official gazette. (Id.)