The Rendon Group Snapshot Report – 27 January 2014

by TRG Alerts Admin on January 27, 2014

 The Rendon Group Snapshot Report



Each week The Rendon Group’s media analysts will focus on a different continent and a different issue affecting that continent. As always, we remain available to answer any questions you may have and to provide additional information upon request. For more information regarding The Rendon Group’s products and services, please contact us at or +1-202-745-4900.


Adoption of Constitutional Charter, Formation of New Government in Tunisia


This week’s snapshot focuses on struggles Tunisia has faced in adopting a new constitution and forming a new government. Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa appointed a caretaker cabinet as part of a deal to end a crisis between Tunisia’s Islamist party and its secular opposition until new elections this year. Hundreds of Islamists gathered in Tunis to protest against the new “secular” constitution. The country’s national assembly has approved the final articles of the new constitution, though the vote to adopt it has been delayed.


News Summary of events during the week of 20JAN14-27JAN14

  • On 23JAN, Tunisia’s national assembly finished approving all articles of the country’s new constitution. (Reuters)
  • On 24JAN, hundreds of Islamists with the radical group Hizb ut-Tahrir gathered in Tunis to protest against the new “secular” constitution. (AFP)
  • On 24JAN, a vote to adopt the new constitution was delayed to Sunday, 26JAN. (AFP)
  • On 25JAN, Prime Minister designate Mehdi Jomaa announced his failure to reach consensus on a new cabinet. (AFP)
  • On 26JAN, Jomaa said that he was asked again by President Marzouki to form a government. (AFP)
  • On 26JAN, Tunisia’s national assembly approved new constitution and appoints government. (Reuters)


Sample of Twitter handles regarding Tunisian constitution

@erinmcunningham – Erin Cunningham, Egypt-based correspondent for Washington Post

@FadilAliriza – Fadil Aliriza, freelance journalist covering Tunisia & Libya

@NaveenaKottoor – Naveena Kottoor, multimedia journalist covering North Africa from Tunis

@borzou – Bourzou Daraghi, Middle East and North Africa correspondent for Financial Times

@Carina_bn – Senior Corresponent, Al Arabiya


Sample of Third Party Validators regarding Tunisian constitution

Slim Loghmani, Constitutional Scholar

““It will be a relief for the average Tunisian who is impatient to see the end of the transition period,” he said. “It will reassure Tunisia’s international partners that country is headed in the right direction.” – Tunisia finally passes progressive constitution, Washington Post, 26Jan14

Noah Feldman, Constitutional Scholar, Harvard University

“After the vote, the assembly and audience stood up spontaneously and sang the national anthem. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house — including mine.”

– From Tunisia, hopeful signs, Washington Post, 24JAN14

Nathan Brown, Professor of International Affairs, George Washington University

“In Tunisia, we have turned the page completely, and you really feel that a revolution has taken place.” – Arab Neighbors Take Split Paths in Constitutions, New York Times, 14JAN14

Suhail Idoudi, Founder, Unemployed Students Union [Tunisia]

“”The demands of the Tunisian people were freedom, jobs and dignity. These demands have been forgotten…Now it is about whether the burqa should be legal…But at the end of the day, those who are hurt by this political discourse are the poor and unemployed.”

– Tunisia Islamists, Secularists Vie for Power, Wall Street Journal, 25OCT13

Hafez Ghanem, Senior Fellow – Global Economy & Development, Brookings

“…the process of constitution writing in Tunisia has been long and has included a real debate between Islamist and secular members of the constituent assembly; both sides have been making concessions and accepting compromises.”

– Will Tunisia Follow Egypt?, Brookings, 25JUL13


Sample of open source research conducted by TRG analysts related to Tunisian constitution

1. Tunisia’s assembly finishes new constitution

Media: Reuters

Byline: N/A

Date: 23 January 2014

TUNIS (Reuters) – Tunisia’s national assembly on Thursday finished approving all articles of the country’s new constitution, just over three years after the “Arab Spring” revolt ousted their autocratic leader Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, assembly members said.

The legislature will make one last vote on the whole constitution to approve it finally, in one of the last steps to the small North African nation’s transition to full democracy after the 2011 uprising.

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2. Hundreds of Islamists rally against new Tunisia charter

Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Byline: N/A

Date: 24 January 2014

TUNIS, Jan 24, 2014 (AFP) – Hundreds of Islamists with the radical Tunisian group Hizb ut-Tahrir, which advocates establishing an Islamic “caliphate”, gathered in Tunis Friday to protest against the “secular” new constitution.

The protesters waved the black and white Islamist flag, and shouted slogans, including “Down with the secular constitution!” and “Establishing Islam is obligatory, sovereignty is for the Koran and sharia (Islamic law).”

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3. Vote to adopt Tunisia charter delayed to Sunday: assembly

Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Byline: N/A

Date: 24 January 2014

TUNIS, Jan 24, 2014 (AFP) – A vote by Tunisian lawmakers to adopt the country’s new constitution has been delayed for a day until Sunday, said Karima Souid, information officer at the constituent assembly.

The plenary session was set for 4:00 pm (1500 GMT) on Sunday, Souid, who is also an MP, told AFP.

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4. Tunisia PM-designate says failed to form new cabinet

Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Byline: N/A

Date: 25 January 2014

TUNIS, Jan 25, 2014 (AFP) – Tunisia’s Prime Minister-designate Mehdi Jomaa announced Saturday he had failed to reach a consensus on a new cabinet due to oversee the run-up to fresh elections.

He had been expected to submit his line-up to President Moncef Marzouki Saturday but said: “I chose not to do it in order for a consensus to be reached.”

“For my part, my line-up is ready, it includes ministers of great quality but the security, social and economic situation make consensus a necessity,” Jomaa explained.

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5. Tunisia PM designate says tasked anew to form government

Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Byline: N/A

Date: 26 January 2014

TUNIS, Jan 26, 2014 (AFP) –

Prime minister-designate Mehdi Jomaa said Sunday he was asked anew by the president to form a government to steer Tunisia out of crisis after an initial failure.

Jomaa had been expected to submit his lineup to President Moncef Marzouki on Saturday but shortly after midnight he announced his failure to form a new government.

“The president has once again placed his trust in me and tasked me with forming the government,” said Jomaa in remarks broadcast by state television, after talks with Marzouki.

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6. Tunisian Constitution, Praised for Balance, Nears Passage

Media: New York Times

Byline: Carlotta Gall

Date: 14 January 2014

TUNIS — Tunisia’s National Constituent Assembly is close to passing a new Constitution that legislators across the political spectrum, human rights organizations and constitutional experts are hailing as a triumph of consensus politics.

Two years in the making and now in its third draft, the charter is a carefully worded blend of ideas that has won the support of both Ennahda, the Islamist party that leads the interim government, and the secular opposition. It is being hailed as one of the most liberal constitutions in an Arab nation.

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