One of Europe’s leading human rights organizations says it will help Tunisia implement democratic reforms in the wake of a string of political controversies in the country over recent months.

The Council of Europe’s advisory body on constitutional matters, the Venice Commission, is also expected to advise Tunisia’s President Kais Saied on legal reforms with respect for human rights via its independent experts.

Saied has been involved in a series of political disputes in the past year and on March 30 announced that he was dissolving the country’s parliament, eight months after suspending it in a bid to seize power.

Venice Commission President Claire Bazy Malaurie held talks with Saied in Carthage following the announcement.

Several Tunisian MPs who ignored Saied’s move and took part in a virtual session of the parliament are believed to be facing a judicial investigation.

In a statement issued after her meeting with Saied, Malaurie said that the Venice Commission is ready “to place its expertise at the service of the Tunisian people and to support the implementation of democratic reforms with respect for the rule of law and human rights.”

She said that the meeting with the Tunisian leader had included discussions on constitutional reform, the proposed July referendum and elections scheduled for December 2022.

The Council of Europe official also met Tunisian Foreign Minister Othman Jerandi, Attorney-General Imed Derouiche and members of the diplomatic community in Tunisia.

Jerandi highlighted Tunisia’s commitment to the “democratic option,” adding that “the country is going through a reforms process that provides for the establishment of real and solid democracy, in line with the aspirations of Tunisians.”

The Venice Commission helps countries wishing to bring their legal and institutional structures into line with European standards.

 

 

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