Sunday, November 06, 2011

Nahda's Constitutional Plans

Leaders of Tunisia's ascendant Islamist party say they will not bring religion into the constitution:
"Tunisia’s Islamist-led government will focus on democracy, human rights and a free-market economy in planned changes to the constitution, effectively leaving religion out of the text it will draw up, party leaders said. The government, due to be announced next week, will not introduce sharia or other Islamic concepts to alter the secular nature of the constitution in force when Tunisia’s Arab Spring revolution ousted autocrat Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in January...

"Interviews with politicians and analysts revealed a consensus that the new assembly, the first to emerge from the Arab Spring uprisings, will focus on reassuring Tunisian voters, and the foreign tourists and investors vital to its economy.

"All parties agreed to keep the first article of the current constitution which says Tunisia’s language is Arabic and its religion is Islam. 'This is just a description of reality,' Ghannouchi said. 'It doesn’t have any legal implications. There will be no other references to religion in the constitution. We want to provide freedom for the whole country,' said the Islamist leader, who will not take any official role in the new government. The new constitution is due in about a year."



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