Sunday 23 October 2011

Quick Facts: Tunisia, Libya & The Plans Ahead

Today both marks Tunisia's first free elections ever, as well as Libya's Official Declaration of Liberation. Here is what both Tunisia & Libya look forward to in the coming months, until both countries are fully done with their state-building processes:

1- Tunisia: Today (Sunday, 23rd of October, 2011) marks Tunisia and the Arab World's first (hopefully) fair & free elections. The elections will select the 217 members of the Constitutional Assembly which will both select an interim Prime Minister & government as well as write the new Tunisian Constitution, with the elections using the Proportional Representation System. There are 3.8 million registered voters in Tunisia, and all non-registered voters can vote using the national ID card. Tunisians abroad in select-countries with dense expatriate populations can vote, and have already begun voting (example, France). The Constitutional Assembly is expected to be dominated by the Islamist party Ennahda (Renaissance), while also having the highest female representation of any legislative body in the Arab World. The Constitutional Assembly has almost unlimited powers, and does not have to subject the new constitution to a referendum unless it wants to, but the general understanding is that it will.

2- Libya: Today as well, National Transitional Council (NTC) will declare Libya "Liberated". There will be elections for a National Public Conference within 8 months. The Conference will appoint an interim Prime Minister & government, and also create a Constituent Authority which will draft the new constitution within 60 days. The Constitution will then be subject to a referendum. If accepted by the people, general elections will be held within 6 months.

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