Article 87 of the 2014 Tunisian Constitution states:
“The President of the Republic enjoys judicial immunity during his/her term in office.
All statutes of limitations and other deadlines are suspended, and judicial procedures
can only be recommenced after the end of his/her term.
The President of the Republic cannot be prosecuted for acts that were carried out in
the context of performing his/her functions.”
Now, this would seem like a nondemocratic country’s ‘democracy’ tactics.
But then you read Article 88:
“The Assembly of the Representatives of the People may, through the initiative of a
majority of its members, present a motion to bring to an end the President of the
Republic’s term for a grave violation of the Constitution. Such a motion must be
approved by two-thirds of the members. In such an event, the matter is referred to
the Constitutional Court for a decision by a majority of two-thirds of its members. In
the event of condemnation, the Constitutional Court orders removal of the
President of the Republic from office, without excluding eventual criminal
prosecution when necessary. Where the President has been removed from office
under these circumstances, he/she is not entitled to run in any subsequent elections.”
So, the president is judically immune, but they can be impeached?
This means that Article 88 overrides 87, but 87 cannot apply in the circumstances it is applied for, so Article 88 stops most abilites of 87 to apply. This is what confuses me about the Constitution of Tunisia. Is it really democratic or not?
Article 36 seems to say that it isn’t:
“The right to join and form unions is guaranteed, including the right to strike.
This right does not apply to the national army.
The right to strike does not apply to the forces of internal security and to customs
That means that if you are a army, internal security, or a customs officer, you cannot strike? This is quirky for democracy, in my opinion. It seems to have some hints of the ND/CDR left inside.
But, there is plenty more evidence to suggest that it should:
“The Human Rights Commission oversees respect for, and promotion of, human
freedoms and rights, and makes proposals to develop the human rights system. It
must be consulted on draft laws that fall within the domain of its mandate.
The Commission conducts investigations into violations of human rights with a view
to resolving them or referring them to the competent authorities.
The Commission shall be composed of independent and impartial members with
competence and integrity. They undertake their functions for a single six-year term.”
“The Good Governance and Anti-Corruption Commission contributes to policies of
good governance, and preventing and fighting corruption. It is responsible for
following up on the implementation and dissemination of these policies, for the
promotion of a culture of good governance, and for the consolidation of principles of
transparency, integrity and accountability.”
and finally Article 25 (although there are many more)
“No citizen shall be deprived of their nationality, exiled, extradited or prevented from
returning to their country.”
Then again, there’s always Article 9 to swing in the other direction…
“Protecting the unity and integrity of the homeland is a sacred duty for all citizens.
National service is a duty according to the regulations and conditions established by
So my conclusion is that Tunisia’s 2014 consitiution is a democratic country with some ND/CDR and ultraconservative influence.