Tunisia Sets July 24 Date for Free Election

Vote Will Select New Constitutional Council

Tunisian Interim President Fouad Mebazza today announced that the government has set July 24 as the date for the nation’s first free election, aimed at selecting a “constitutional council.”

The council will be empowered to rewrite the constitution, formalizing the transition of Tunisia from a presidential dictatorship to a democracy, and will also lay out a transition schedule for electing a new, elected government.

Protesters ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali earlier this year and ousted his Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi earlier this week. The setting of a date will finally calm concerns amongst the protest movement that the “interim government,” still packed with Ben Ali loyalists, was going to cling to power.

At the same time, analysts say that the first free Presidential election could still be years off, particularly problematic as the current constitution only allows the interim president to retain office for 60 days.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.