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Home arrow newsitems arrow Tunisia Constituent Assembly Head Jafar to EuroFora: New Democratic Ideas from Arab Spring's cradle?

Tunisia Constituent Assembly Head Jafar to EuroFora: New Democratic Ideas from Arab Spring's cradle?

Written by ACM
Thursday, 28 June 2012

*Strasbourg/Council of Europe/Angelo Marcopolo/- The President of the Constituent Assembly of Tunisia, the cradle of "Arab Spring's Historic Democratic Changes at the Mediterranean, Dr. Ben Jafaar, speaking to "EuroFora" shortly before a crucial, July 2012, first "Draft" for a brand New Constitution of the country, didn't exclude the possibility for Hannibal's fatherland to actively contribute also to Europe's own current Debates on the Future of Democracy, eventually by presenting some interesting New Ideas on relations between Citizens and States, inspired also by the Dramatic Symbol of Bouazizi.


Tarek Bouazizi was a poor Young Tunisian Man who set himself on Fire in despair after his complaints were totaly ignored, against alleged Insults trumpling underfoot Human Dignity in Public,  by the former regime's Police, which had violently denied him even the elementary Freedom to sell some Fruits and Vegetables in order to help his Family survive, after he was hindered to find a job corresponding to his qualifications, according to a Legend spreading among Young People accross the Mediterranean, up to the G-8 Heads of State/Government Summit last May 2011 at Deauville, (Comp. "EuroFora"s NewsReports from the spot, f.ex. : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/sarkozystandbypeoplefightingforfreedom.html , http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/egyptetunisiangos.html , http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/deauvillefreedominternetmediterranean.html  )  to the point that "he has become our Hero", as said to "EuroFora" the Egyptian Young lady Activist, Asmaa Mahfouz, who was honored by EU Parliament with the "Sacharov Prize for Freedom of Thought and Expression" on December 2011, (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/arabspringbouazizizacharovprize.html )


Tunisia's Ancient History is also famous by the "New City" of Poenicians : Carthage, which had developed a strong Maritime Empire in the Western Mediteranean, to the point that its Chief, the Greek-educated Strategist Hannibal, had notoriously succeeded to cross throughout Europe,  (via Spain, France and Switzerland towards Italy) and even via the Alps Mountains, up to Rome, thanks to ingenuity and innovation, daring to undertake the most daunting tasks.


 - "EuroFora" observed that, even if several bodies of CoE's PanEuropean Organization for Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law, as f.ex. the Top Legal Experts of "Venice Commission", also known as "Democracy through Law", could certainly provide useful advise if consulted by the Tunisian Constitution-makers, (Comp. Infra), nevertheless, "also Tunisia itself", (as the Cradle of a growing series of Democratic Changes still going on accross the Mediterranean since the 2011 "Arab Spring"), has already offered, and might, eventualy, offer some more useful inputs to Europe, even  if mainly of a Symbolic nature".


- "A well known Symbol, mainly for Young People, but also older, is Bouazizi's Dramatic case, which was one among many others, in Tunisia and elsewhere", "EuroFora" reminded.



=> So that, "the Question arises, if, at your Knowledge, and given your important Responsibilities" (as President of Tunisia's Constituent Assembly), one may Hope to see some Interesting, New and/or Original Ideas emerge, in addition to hopefuly robuste solutions to classic Constitutional issues, (f.ex. of Power-Sharing between Institutions, etc), which might be useful also in the current Debate on the Future of Democracy in Europe itself", as we pointed out.


- Such a possible move could, "f.ex., concern Citizens' Rights, and/or People's possibilities to participate in the (Public Authorities') Decision-making processes, in one way or another, by using, or not, New Technologies as Internet, Social Media, etc", (where Tunisia has a special role, since the 2005 UNO's World Internet Forum, etc ), given that "such issues, which go well beyond the Traditional Constitutional Questions, interest many People Today", both in Europe and accross the entire World, "EuiroFora" noted, in conclusion.



 - "Thank you.. We accept willingly this additional Responsibility that you suggest to give us", even if, "already,  our shoulders bear the Heavy Burden of the (main) Responsibility to bring the Democratization process of the Country to its conclusion", joked, smiling but Positive, from the outset, President Ben Jafar.


 - "Because, in the Momentum generated by the (Tunisian) Revolution, sometimes, it was said that Tunisia and more generally the Arab Spring may affect even the whole World" in a way, "in what might be an Historic moment", he pointed out.

>>> So, "I don't know if there might be New Ideas, but the Genius of the (Tunisian) Revolution, which has already Succeeded to turn Peacefully the page of one of the most firm Dictatorships, might, perhaps, be also able to advance some Ideas for Debate", Ben Jafar agreed, optimistically.

=> Indeed, "I think that this is the Moment that we can, absoilutely, take advantage of, if we become Conscious enough, in order to Revise our Drafts, and our view of the World", the President of Tunisia's Constituent Assembly replied to "EuroFora"s Question

 - Particularly "if we become Aware and Conscious of the fact that we are at a Juncture in the Relations between the North and the South, between West and East", the experienced politician highlighted.

=> - F.ex., "We've just ascertained that Democracy and Islam can be Compatible. But, advancing well beyond the issue of Democracy in the Muslim and Arab World, we should, perhaps, seize this Historic Opportunity", he stressed, pointing at a possible contribution to an even Wider issue currently concerning also Europe and the whole World.

- F.ex. "in order to renew the Relations between West and East, between North and South, in what some have already started to call "Mediterranean's 2 shores", on a more Balanced basis, avoiding some previously prevailing views of Fear, which were dominated by Security issues (only), in order to start thinking Together in terms of a Common Future, based on shared Universal Values" (of Democracy/Human Rights, etc) and Peace, but also on a Strategy of Co-Develmopment, able to resolve, directly or indirectly, all the concerns  that you moght have in our regard each time that an immigrant dives in the Mediterranean Sea and crosses it in order to go to Lampedousa or elsewhere", as he said.

=> In fact, "I think that the Exchanges that will continue between us (CoE and Tunisia) will help to Better handle such (contemporary) Democracy issues", as those raised by "EuroFora"s question (Comp. Supra), he suggested in reply.

- "The aged Democracy of the West, is not so "old", since it Inspired us" (Tunisia's Democratic Revolution), he noted.

+ "But, I think that, if there are some Problems (to solve Today : Comp. f.ex. earlier "EuroFora"s NewsReports on the forthcoming Strasbourg's 1st "World Forum on Democracy", October 2012, and on CoE's policies related to Young People, etc), we (Tunisia's Constituent Assembly+)  are Ready to take part (Participate) in the Debate, in order to try to Solve them", President Jafar  positively concluded.
 - In practice, "we excpect to have a 1st Draft in the middle of July, so that we could finaly adopt the New Constittion on October 23"', i.e. at the Anniversary of the "1st Democratic Elections in Tunisia's History" (23/10/2011) as he said earlier.

Well informed Diplomatic sources from Tunisia told "EuroFora" that, when 6 specialized Commissions of the Constituent Assembly will present ther Draft Proposals, ine a few Days, after the end of a long series of various Hearings, the main task will be that of a Coordinating Committee, responsible for the overall Draft Text, which is Chaired by the President of the Constituent Assembly, Ben Jafar himself.


    + Meanwhile, the above mentioned potential Perspectives could become even more important in the foreseeable Futrue, since CoE Assembly's President, French MEP Jean-Claude Mignon, stressed at this occasion that Tunisia's way towards Democratization could soon become an "Historic case of Exemplary value", also for others, while Tunis might also decide, after October 2012, when it will have a fully-fledged New Parliament (thanks to the New Constitution prepared by the current Constituent Assembly), to develop closer, even Institutional, links with the CoE,  f.ex. by asking to get a "Partner for Democracy" status., as suggested the Head of the PanEuropean Assembly, which has the power to give such a Status mainly to selected Neighbouring Countries.


    Jafar, who is also President of a mainstream Poliical Party and former Candidate for the Country's Presidency, after many Years spend on Journalism and as co-Founder of Human Rights' organisation, before serving also recently as Minister, anounced that Tunisia has already started a series of exchanges with CoE's "Venice Commission" (Comp. Supra), and spoke to "EuroFora" just before addressing CoE's PanEuropean Parliamentary Assembly in Strasbourg, which debated and voted today on the differend but topical developments in the Egyptian and Tunisian cases of the so-called "Arab Spring", alias a Democratisation Wind blowing after the 1990ies in former Central-Eastern European Countries, now also, mutatis mutandis, in 3rd Mediterranean Countries, all the way from Morocco up to Syria now, at the borders of Turkey.


("DraftNews", already sent earlier to "EuroFora"s Subscribers/Donors. A more accurate and Full, Final Version may come asap).




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