Since January 15, Tunisians have been invited to answer questions and participate in the drafting of the future Constitution.
“What are the solutions to reduce unemployment? “What voting method for the legislative elections? “What are the reforms to be undertaken? Since January 15, Tunisians have been invited to express their views on the future of their country. Questions that are sometimes technical, often biased. According to the Presidency of the Republic, the results of this consultation will be incorporated into the Constitution, which is currently being drafted.
To participate, Tunisians only have to register their identity document number on the E-istichara platform. Then begins a series of questions in Arabic or French. It is about political life, economy, social, health or even the environment and digital transition. Participants have until March 20 to answer questions posed by the presidency.
A participatory democracy?
Closed questions, but also spaces for free expression. Tunisians can thus write the future of their country without restrictions. A way like any other, for Kaïs Saïed, the Tunisian president, to put in place his participatory democracy to which he has aspired since coming to power in 2019, and even more since July 25.
An “unconventional” mechanism, in the words of the presidency, which has already had some success. During the first four days of the consultation, no less than 45 Tunisians rushed to the platform to try to influence the process of writing the Constitution.
And so the national consultation via https://t.co/g4XBzi9qKm is officially launched and the platform is in Ar/Fr/En of your choice and also allows Tunisians abroad to register via sms... pic.twitter.com/nvsYDkezTq
— Olfa (@Mimouna) -
But what will happen next? Will the committee of constitutionalists who have already set about rewriting the texts really take the opinion of the people into account? In view of the questions, in particular that on the regime which would be the preference of the citizens, Kaïs Saïed seeks to shake up the established order. No doubt he hopes that Tunisians, especially those most disappointed by the recent experience of the semi-presidential regime, will tell him that they prefer a presidential regime.
Nearly half of the population excluded?
Above all, Kaïs Saïed put in place the foundations of a direct democracy. But ultimately not open to everyone. The Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights (FTDES) indicates that 45% of the population does not have access to the internet and that it will be difficult for Saïed to achieve unanimity. Another part of the population does not necessarily have access to reading and writing.
In Tunisia, Internet users - and the NGO I-Watch - also deplore the fact that this platform is only a means of obtaining the personal data of participants, but also the lack of transparency as to the results and statistics that will come out. of the questionnaire.
Finally, other members of civil society believe that the consultation does not address all the essential questions. Among the grievances of some, the lack of consultation on the future organization of the police, or the imbalance between the vote of Tunisians abroad and their influence on the national economy. In reality, civil society believes that the President of the Republic is only seeking, through this consultation, to establish his ambitions. The closing message of the consultation is also not insignificant: “Your opinion, our decision”.