Tunisian Prime Minister Larayedh to MEPs: "our democracy needs time"

By European Parliament
Tunisian Prime Minister Larayedh to MEPs:
Tunisian Prime Minister Larayedh to MEPs: "our democracy needs time"

BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, June 26, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Tunisian democracy is "work in progress" for which "we need time", Prime Minister Ali Larayedh told Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs on Tuesday, in his first appearance to the European Parliament since he took office in March. The democratic transition of Tunisia and its relations with the EU topped the discussion with MEPs.

"We are striving to constitutionalize our freedom" gained two and half years ago, Mr Larayedh said, indicating that the Constituent Assembly would examine the draft Constitution in plenary in early July and hoping it can be adopted by "large consensus" and "a majority of more than two thirds, thus allowing to adopt the Constitution without the referendum".

Reform of security apparatus, boosting economy and reducing the unemployment, transitional justice and fight against corruption are other three priority government's areas, Mr Larayedh said.

MEPs for their part insisted that a sound roadmap to the elections must be set, including clear dates, underlined the need to strengthen and secure the freedom of media and of expression, sustain progress in reforming the judiciary and police, create conditions for empowerment of women and ensure transparent investigation of the murder of Chokri Belaid.

"The election date shall be decided by an independent electoral council," Prime Minister Larayedh replied, stating however that his "government has committed to organise the elections before the end of 2013". The presidential elections could be held few weeks before the legislative ones, he said.

In the chair: Elmar Brok (EPP, DE)