Rapporteur surprised by the resignation of the Chair of the Tunisian electoral body

“As rapporteur of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on the political transition in Tunisia, I was surprised, like all Tunisians, at the resignations of Chafik Sarsar, Chair of the Independent Supreme Electoral Authority (ISIE), and of the Vice-Chair, Mourad Moualhi and Lamia Zargouni,” George Loucaides (Cyprus, UEL) said today.

“Mr Sarsar, whom I met during my visit to Tunis last March, made the ISIE a universally respected body, which had the appropriate resources it needed to carry out its tasks and which was hailed for its professionalism. This surprising development prompts me to reiterate the terms of paragraph 7 of the draft resolution adopted last month by the PACE Political Affairs Committee which stated “The Assembly calls on the Tunisian authorities to ensure that the independent constitutional commissions, as well as those established by law, are given their rightful place”, and “to guarantee their independence”. In this respect, the ability of the relevant bodies to work transparently and impartially is paramount,” he added.

“Furthermore, while I am convinced that national reconciliation is a necessity, I also think, as the Committee stated, that this reconciliation must not take place at the expense of justice and give rise to a feeling of impunity. In this regard, insofar as my Tunisian parliamentary colleagues deem it relevant and advisable, there is a sound case for the Assembly of the Representatives of the People to ask the Venice Commission for an opinion on the new version of the draft law on economic and financial reconciliation, further to its earlier opinion on the initial version of the text,” he said.

“For my part, I will continue to closely monitor these issues,” concluded Mr Loucaides.