European Policy Centre

Posts by authors affiliated with European Policy Centre

29 November 2022

Conflating the Powers of the Commissarial and the Sovereign Dictator in Tunisia

On July 25, 2022, a year after Tunisian President Kais Saied declared a state of emergency and with only 28 percent of eligible voters participating, Tunisia ratified its new Constitution. Saied’s use of wide emergency powers to help sideline parliamentary opposition and support the constitution-making process, contradicts the underlying rational that emergency powers are needed in democratic states to defend the existing constitutional order against urgent and exceptional threats to the state. To preclude the potential misuse of emergency powers a state’s constitution should be designed to prevent the entity exercising emergency powers from simultaneously claiming that they represent the ‘broad popular will’ of the people.

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