ADF organizes three national dialogue workshops in Tunisia
ADF organized three national dialogue workshops in three cities in Tunisia: Zaghouan, Sfax, and Tunis from 24 to 26 June 2011 entitled "On the Eve of the Constituent Assembly: What New Political System Do We Want?". Various Tunisian political, cultural and social forces were invited to participate in the workshops, in order to create a political climate of national dialogue that would help develop a common ground between them and ensure a smooth democratic transition process, both consensual and competitive.
ADF Secretary-General inaugurated the first national dialogue workshop on 24 June 2011 in Zaghouan. The workshop was organized in collaboration with the Zaghouan Association for Development and Citizenship . Mr. Marzouk stated that the aim of these workshops is to start talk at the national level about the options that relate to upcoming Tunisian constitution. He added that engaging in such dialogues will enable the voter to choose the proper members of the Constituent Assembly and provide him with a set of options regarding political and social system. This national dialogue workshop which represented all the essential components of civil society and citizens was in preparation for the next October 23rd elections in order to inform the Zaghouan citizens about the importance of national dialogue with civil society, associations and political parties in this phase.
The main two sessions of the workshop raised the issue of the kind of desired political system and the general features of the structure of the upcoming Constitution, namely what is to be kept of the 1959 Constitution. The audience reflected deeply on civil society and political parties and expressed their fear of the deviation the revolution process. They also stressed the need to see experts continue their work in parallel with the work of the Constituent Assembly.
In Sfax, ADF organized its second national dialogue session in partnership with the Majida Boulila Association for Modernity. The debate focused on the functions and powers of the Constituent Assembly. Stress was also put on the importance to activate the role of civil society organizations and political parties in raising awareness about the values of citizenship and democracy, especially in today’s political scene. Mr. Marzouk expressed the hope for national reconciliation at this stage for the sake of the general interest of the voter as he put it. The workshops’ three sessions featured interventions by specialists like Dr. Sadok Belaid. The points of view were different, but mainly agreed on the need to draw lessons from past experience, to identify weaknesses, and to highlight the fundamental rights of the individual in the social and political system and political systems, until the individual becomes a full-fledged citizen.
The third workshop was held in Tunis in partnership with the Tunisian League for Citizenship. This workshop focused on how to achieve the goals of the revolution and separation of powers, as well as create mechanisms that will protect the new constitution. Dr. Ghazi Gherairi and Dr. Chafik Sarsar explained how to protect the constitution against manipulation of wording, constant modifications, and syntax errors that may be lead to misunderstanding and/or misinterpretation. The workshop concluded with recommendations and suggestions from the experts about what the Tunisian citizens wish for, the general models that can be selected, the separation of powers, and how to ensure that the Tunisian upcoming constitution democratically conveys the demands and objectives of the January 14th revolution.