Tunisia: Deans of Law Colleges reject participation in consultative Commission on new constitution
The deans of law colleges in Tunisia’s universities Tuesday turned down their choice by President Kais Saied to form a consultative commission tasked to draft a new Constitution for the country.
President Saied signed on May 20 a decree for the formation of a consultative commission to be composed of deans of law colleges. The university professors will ponder over the drafting of a new constitution to be put for referendum in July for the establishment of a new republic.
The Tunisian President has taken control over most powers in the North African country since July 25 after he imposed exceptional measures, firing the then Prime Minister, suspending the parliament before dissolving it in a later date, and lifting the immunity of MPs.
In a statement issued Tuesday, 76 law professors slammed the president and refused to be involved in the political showdown between the president and political parties that have been sidelined from the process.
“After the promulgation of the decree (…) relating to the establishment of the National Consultative Commission, the university professors of law colleges and legal sciences institutions denounce this unjust method of appointing the members of the commission without any extended and real national consultation and dialogue,” the statement said.
“The male and female deans of the universities of law and legal sciences are among the professors who were elected according to their academic value to manage the scientific affairs within the colleges, not to involve them in participating in the political activities,” the statement added.
The university elites also called on the “male and female deans not to accept joining this commission, in addition, to unify their position to reject such deception against the scientific institutions and involving universities in political projects.”
The refusal is another blow to the president after the country’s powerful labor union UGTT also turned down participation in the national dialogue to pave the way for the new republic. The union has criticized the absence of political parties in the dialogue.