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Tunisia constitution committee chief delivers draft to president

The head of Tunisia’s constitution committee delivered the draft of a new constitution to President Kais Saied, the presidency said, with expectations that the document will grant more powers to the president.

Saied, who seized executive power last year, dissolved parliament and ruled by decree. He said on Monday some chapters needed amendments, Reuters reports.

The president intends to put the new constitution to a referendum on July 25, though the opposition has said it will boycott the plebiscite.

Saied named law professor Sadok Belaid to draft the new constitution, without including Tunisia’s main political parties such as the Islamist Ennahda and Free Constitutional parties. Deans of universities refused to join the committee. Only some experts and small parties took part in talks.

Sources told Reuters the draft includes some chapters of the 2014 constitution, especially on freedoms, while the focus will be on economic aspects.

They added that the draft proposes a system with a powerful president who appoints the prime minister.

Under the 2014 constitution, which enjoyed broad support, parliament had a big role and could withdraw confidence from the government. The winning party in parliamentary elections named a prime minister who formed the government.

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