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Government's stance about draft decree-law on election of Constituent Assembly 

Published the:  26/04/2011

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April 26, 2011 - TAP - The Caretaker Government proposed to bar those who had assumed responsibilities in the dissolved Constitutional Democratic Rally (RCD), during the last ten years, from running for the National Constituent Assembly's elections.
The Government also proposed to exclude from those elections members of the deposed president's cabinet, advisers and attachés, as having been "directly involved in decision-making".
Speaking, on Tuesday, to the national and international press, Interim Prime Minister Béji Caïd Essebsi pointed out that the proposal made by the High Authority for the Achievement of the Revolution Objectives, Political Reform and Democratic Transition to ban from the Constituent Assembly's elections all those who had assumed responsibilities within the disbanded RCD, during the last 23 years, is a debatable proposal, as some RCD officials had been themselves victimized at some periods by the former regime, so "they should not be prevented from standing for these elections, if they are not condemned by justice".
Recalling that the Caretaker Government "has no relation whatsoever either with Ben Ali or with the RCD, or other parties, and that its sole concern is to serve the public interest," Mr. Caïd Essebsi voiced wish that this proposal would be accepted by the High Authority, "in harmony with the spirit of tolerance, moderation and the golden mean that have distinguished the Tunisian people".
Besides, he specified that a list of all those persons who had held responsibilities within the dissolved RCD, during the last ten years, would be drawn up by a decree-law to be signed by the Interim President.
Mr. Caïd Essebsi voiced the Interim Government's endorsement of the principle of parity between men and women on the electoral lists, pointing out that women and men's chances have thus become equal, "which is unprecedented in Tunisia's electoral history".
Additionally, he reminded that all members of the present Interim Government, as well as the Caretaker President himself, would not run for those elections, in compliance with the decree-law organizing the interim powers. He underscored the Interim Government's will to see to it that the next elections be transparent, honest, free and fair.
Dealing with the role of the independent elections commission, a body stemming from the High Authority and entrusted with organizing and monitoring the National Constituent Assembly's elections, he said that this financially independent commission would report on its works to the Caretaker President.
Mr. Béji Caïd Essebsi stressed the need to guarantee the adequate social and economic climate for the National Constituent Assembly's elections, in optimum conditions.
He reasserted the Interim Government's pledge to respect the date of July 24, 2011 for the holding of those elections, which, he argued, is reasonable, insisting that "if there are some sides who want to postpone holding of that event, the Government will not shoulder any responsibility in that case".
In another connection, the Interim Prime Minister aired concern about the striking infringements that are taking place in the country, through the repeated sit-ins and demonstrations" , which is likely to hinder foreign investment".
In this respect, he mentioned the obstacles to the progress of enterprises and institutions, blocking of roads and railway lines, and the phenomenon of illegal immigration.
Mr. Caïd Essebsi added that "the revolution is not democracy by itself, but the gateway for democracy," further elaborating that the revolution could lead to disorder and confrontation, in the same way as it leads to the healthy democratic transition; so that Tunisia be a model worth following.
In this context, he announced that Tunisia has been invited by G8 most industrialized countries, adding that "this is a cause of pride for all Tunisians" and a testimony of the international consideration that Tunisia is enjoying.
Answering the journalists' questions, the Interim Prime Minister announced that the Government will look at the appropriate steps regarding claims made by the national security forces. Besides, he said that the Government had followed the required procedures concerning extradition of the ousted president and his wife.