Exchange of views with Mustapha Ben JAFAR, Speaker of the Tunisian National Constituent Assembly, on the state of play of the democratic transition in Tunisia:
Lieu: Brussels, Belgium - EP
End production: 04/06/2012 First transmission: 04/06/2012
The Committee on Foreign Affairs held an exchange of views with Mustapha Ben Jafar, Speaker of the Tunisian National Constituent Assembly, on the state of play of the democratic transition in Tunisia. MEPs and Mustapha Ben JAFAR discussed about the current situation of future Constitution, which is planned to be drawn up by October 2012, five months before the general elections, in March 2013.
MEPs highlighted that the new constitution must guarantee balance of powers, civil liberties and individual rights, in order to obtain the broader consensus among Tunisian people. MEPs also stressed the need to create a Constitutional Court to guarantee these rights.
This exchange of views is placed among the action plan focused on supporting the Arab Spring countries on their path to democracy. Last bilateral meeting was held in Tunisia, April 2012, where a multi-party group of MEPs members of the delegation for relations with Magreb countries took stock of the current situation in democratic transition. MEPs had the opportunity to make an on-the-spot assessment of the country and they explored new ways of improving EU-Tunisia cooperation in terms of cooperation and transition funds.
A meeting between Martin SCHULZ, EP President, and Mustapha Ben JAFAR with will be held on Tuesday, 5th June, followed by a press point.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior shot of the EP, Brussels
||Arrival of Mustapha Ben JAFAR, Speaker of the Tunisian National Constituent Assembly, greetings to MEPs (3 shots)
||SOUNDBITE (French) Mustapha Ben JAFAR, Speaker of the Tunisian National Constituent Assembly: "The next step is to set the date for the adoption of the Constitution, and this should be towards the 23 of the October 2012. We have therefore respected the commitments we engaged in before the elections".
||SOUNDBITE (French) Mustapha Ben JAFAR, Speaker of the Tunisian National Constituent Assembly: "The pace of building of democratic Tunisia is well on track, but to be quite franc I have to tell you that nothing is final, nothing has been finalised. We are committed to this process, we are very proud of this in Tunisia, we are passionate about it, but there is always a threat, there is always a social problem. It has been so much frustration, so much inequality between different regions, so much corruption in the previous period that we are all, wherever you may be, at the Government or at the Constituent National Assembly, we are all facing a huge demand, claims and massive expectations".
||SOUNDBITE (French) Mustapha Ben JAFAR, Speaker of the Tunisian National Constituent Assembly: "We are counting on this strategic partnership with the friends of Tunisia, with the countries of the European Union".
||SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Jose-Ignacio SALAFRANCA (EPP, ES): "I would like to share one concern with you, a concern that has arisen in the EU: what role would play the Islamic law within the new Constitutional text?"
||SOUNDBITE (Italian) Pier Antonio PANZERI (S&D, IT): "The creation of a delegation from the Constituent Assembly and from the future House of Representatives, for the relations with the EP would be very useful for us, as a stable interlocutor with our institution".
||SOUNDBITE (French) Mustapha Ben JAFAR, Speaker of the Tunisian National Constituent Assembly: "We've fallen into the trap assuming that Tunisia could be divided in two camps: Muslims and Islamists on one side and those who aren't Islamists on the other side. This is the worst we could have done in a country as Tunisia, where Islam is moderate".
||SOUNDBITE (French) Mustapha Ben JAFAR, Speaker of the Tunisian National Constituent Assembly: "Let there be no doubt: we will champion fundamental freedoms, democracy, gender equality, we will fight to preserve the acquired rights".
||SOUNDBITE (French) Mustapha Ben JAFAR, Speaker of the Tunisian National Constituent Assembly: "There has been a debate on incorporating Sharia into the Constitution, during those discussions a firm stands was taken, there was opposition not just from civil society, but also opposition within the Government team. And a key role was played by Ettakatol on this discussion. I threatened to resign, to stand out if any attempt were made to incorporate Sharia law into the Constitution".
||Cutaways (11 shots)