Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Tunisia's New Constitution Good News For Morocco

Tunisia's constituent assembly overwhelmingly passed a new constitution Sunday night after two years of bargaining between the country's Islamists and secularists. Last week, the assembly voted on each article of the draft ahead of Sunday's vote on the full document. Morocco warmly welcomed the new constitution
Out of the 216-member constituent assembly, 200 people voted in favor of the charter. Its completion has come three years after the overthrow of Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali.

After the vote, assembly speaker Mustapha Ben Jaafar said, "This constitution, without being perfect, is one of consensus." He continued, "We had today a new rendezvous with history to build a democracy founded on rights and equality." U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Tunisia "reached another historic milestone" and said the constitution is a model to be followed by other countries aiming to reform. Prior to the vote, Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa appointed a caretaker cabinet composed mainly of independents and technocrats. The move came as part of a deal to end a political crisis between Tunisia's Islamists and secularists, and the body is expected to govern until elections likely to be held later this year.

On Tuesday Morocco's ministry of foreign affairs and cooperation commended the spirit of "understanding and consensus which have marked this democratic process and hailed all Tunisian political parties for their constructive patriotism and serious and continued efforts to go through this delicate historical phase."

Reiterating its full support for Tunisia in its steps seeking to uphold democracy and foster security and stability, Morocco said it hoped to see all parties concerned succeed in the future stages of the road map and enable the Tunisian people to achieve their aspirations for development and prosperity, in order to build a solidarity-based, active Maghreb.

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