Two years after the closure of the parliament by President Kaïs Saïed and one year after its dissolution (in March 2022), the Assembly of the Representatives of the tunisian People (ARP), reopens its doors to new deputies. The invitation to hold the said meeting and to start the work of the new Parliament was issued by a presidential decree dated March 8, 2023.
In Tunis, the deputies resulting from the legislative elections of December 17, 2022 and January 29, 2023 held their first plenary session on Monday, March 13. Thus, according to the presidential decree on the opening of today’s inaugural plenary session, discussions will be held on the swearing in of deputies, the candidacies for the post of President of the ARP and the voting process.
In addition, the election of the President of the ARP and his two Vice-Presidents will be done by secret ballot. The candidate for the Presidency of the Parliament must obtain an absolute majority of votes, according to Article 7 of the said decree. If none of the candidates obtains a majority, a second round will be held between the two candidates with the most votes. In case of a tie, the oldest candidate will be declared the winner. If there is still a tie, the winner will be determined by a draw. The plenary will be closed once the President and the two Vice-Presidents have been elected.
It should be noted that the new Assembly marks a break with the previous one, as it derives from a new Constitution adopted by referendum on July 25, 2022. (one year after President Kaïs Saïed suspended the Parliament and dissolved the government as part of exceptional measures he decided). The new Constitution has thus introduced profound changes by concentrating all powers in the hands of the president. Among these changes, the number of deputies in the ARP has been revised from 217 to 161. At the same time, the political system becomes presidential again, whereas it was semi-parliamentary in the 2014 Constitution.
Speaking on Saturday 11 March during a visit to the headquarters of the daily La Presse on the activities of the next parliament, the Tunisian president said that “parliamentary blocs are part of the past and legislation must reflect the general will and not the interests of some parties nostalgic for the old ARP or the last decade.
Moreover, for its first plenary session, the 161 members of the new Tunisian parliament will not be complete. 154 will be there, it was reported. This is because the parliamentary elections could not be held in 7 constituencies abroad due to a lack of valid candidates. The Independent High Electoral Authority will also hold by-elections to fill the vacant seats, reports Anadolu.