Tunisian President Kais Saied named a loyalist law professor to lead a commission tasked with crafting a constitution for a “new republic” through a nationwide discussion that excludes political parties on Friday.
Saied deposed the government and suspended parliament on July 25, 2016, effectively putting an end to the political parties that had dominated Tunisian politics since the 2011 revolution that began the Arab Spring upheavals.
He has already promised to repeal the country’s 2014 constitution and design a successor that would be presented to a referendum in July, but despite pleas for an open discussion, he has regularly attacked political parties.
The official gazette said on Friday that law professor Sadeq Belaid will lead the newly formed “National Consultative Commission for a New Republic,” which will be tasked with drafting a draft constitution.
Saied has also established three further committees to address socioeconomic issues, the judiciary, and national discussion.
Although important organizations, like as the powerful UGTT trade union confederation, are expected to participate, no political party is expected to do so.
Saied proclaimed the launch of a long-awaited “national conversation” in early May, while also criticizing the political parties he accuses of plundering the country.
Many Tunisians have applauded his actions against a corrupt political class since his power grab in July, but opponents have called his actions a coup, and he has faced calls from both home and abroad for a dialogue with all of the country’s main players.