Monday, June 25, 2012

Extradition and Institutional Politics

Tunisia's President Moncef Marzouki is threatening to resign after the prime minister authorized the extradition to Libya of Muammar Qadhafi's last prime minister:
"Mahmoudi was delivered into the custody of Libyan authorities yesterday, June 24. He was arrested in September 2011 on charges of illegally crossing the Libyan-Tunisian border, and was detained in Tunisian prison ever since.
"Hassna Marsid, a member of CPR party and a Constituent Assembly member, stated her opposition to the extradition on the grounds of its legality. 'They extradited him without the legal signature of the president. 60 members of the Constituent Assembly have already written a petition that will be handed to the government,' she said.
"Samir Dilou, spokesperson of the government, said that the extradition of  Mahmoudi to Libya was the logical continuation and implementation of a decision that had already been made several months ago."
I can't picture Marzouki actually resigning over this.  What's happening is that political leaders are trying to figure out the division of powers among new institutions.  The presidency claims extradition as a foreign policy issue, while the prime minister's government sees it as a domestic legal proceeding.  Their respective ideologies are hardly relevant.



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