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Chamber of Councillors approves draft law to entitle interim President to rule by decree

Published the:  09/02/2011

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The Chamber of Advisers held, on Wednesday morning, a plenary session to look at a bill empowering the interim President to issue decree-laws.
This bill, in conformity with provisions of Article 28 of the Tunisian Constitution, aims to empower the interim President to issue decree-laws during a limited period of time, as part of the needs dictated by the current situation the country is living through.
Participants started the session by reciting the Fatiha to the memory of the martyrs of the Tunisian People's Revolution.
In his opening address, Chamber of Advisers interim Speaker Mekki Aloui said that Tunisia has stepped into a rather sensitive and promising stage, thanks to the Revolution of these young heroes.
He also asserted the Chamber's support to the three national committees and efforts exerted by the caretaker government to make of the Revolution a success, introduce deep reforms in all sectors and combine the attributes of a fair development across the country's various regions, laying emphasis on the need to achieve development projects and urgently create jobs, particularly in the country's interior regions.
Taking the floor, Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi pointed out that Tunisia has been going through a decisive stage in its history, thanks to its people's Revolution triggered last December 17 by the death of young Mohamed Bouazizi, and then spreading to all regions, helping it enter a new stage which opens up wide prospects for the democratic transition.
Besides, he highlighted the difficulties and risks the country ran following the wave of looting, arson and rampage carried out by thuggish gangs bent on terrorising the people. In the face of these dangers and chaos, all Tunisians stood up as a one man, to save human lives and protect their Revolution, by forming district committees in support to security forces and the Army, which helped gradually restore order and stability.
Mr. Ghannouchi pointed out that following the Revolution, claims of various categories of citizens have increased, notably among the underprivileged and the jobless, demanding their rights to work and to a decent life or to improve their professional and social situation, specifying that these claims are legitimate and that the State, all structures and bodies included, are indefatigably endeavouring to meet.
The Prime Minister asserted, in this regard, that the transition Government places the Revolution youth's aspirations to freedom, dignity and employment on top of its priorities and exerts all efforts to provide the objective economic, financial or structural attributes to achieve these legitimate claims.
Besides, he specified that the caretaker government's first mission is to prepare for the organization of Presidential election, as part of compliance with the law and democracy, through the revision of law on political parties, the press ethics, the associations act and the law on terrorism, so as to help all stakeholders to contribute to the success of this electoral event, away of exclusion and in total transparency, with the ultimate goal of passing on the torch to the new head of state who would be freely chosen by people.
The Prime Minister pointed out that an independent authority would be tasked with organizing the elections, in the presence of international observers, so that this race consecrates the real democracy and thus mirrors the people's free will.
Besides, Mr. Ghannouchi asserted that the imperatives of this transitional juncture commands to endow the interim president and the head of the provisional Government with the needed powers to take immediate steps within the framework of legality, so as to gather the optimum conditions for all political sensitivities to take part in the forthcoming presidential elections, without exclusion, provided that they abide by law, the Code of Personal Status and the freedom of worship, all of which are fundamental human rights.
He explained that the bill submitted to the Chamber of Advisers would allow the Interim President to take the necessary measures to make the goals of the Revolution a success; a Revolution which he described as unique of its kind and which would put back Tunisia in its historic process, help it take up challenges and enable it to join the advanced countries.
It is worth pointing out that four resignations from the Chamber of Advisers were reported: they are Messrs. Moncef Chebbi, Chedli Ayari, Mohamed Chendoul and Rachid Sfar.
Furthermore, Messrs. Hédi Baccouche, Béji Ben Mémi and Foued Haouat did not attend this first plenary session of the Chamber after last January 14th events.