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Tunisia's parliament adopts new local govt code ahead of municipal polls


Tunisia’s Parliament has adopted a new law on local authorities, only a few days before the municipal elections.
This comes during a public parliamentary session broadcast on state television.

At the end of March, Parliament begun to examine the 392 articles of the Local Government Code, which must precisely define the role and autonomy of municipalities, regions and districts.

The 392-section bill requires, among other things, that the city council chair devote himself full time to his office, a point which hitherto was the main bone of contention among MPs.

“The local government code is a major law. This is perhaps the most important law passed after the Constitution. This will completely change the development model in Tunisia. It’s the decentralization process”, said Tunisian Minister of Local Communities and Environment, Riadh Mouakher.

On April 13, the Tunisian Association for Electoral Integrity and Democracy was unhappy about delays in adopting the code, pointing to a “voluntary” decision by some parliamentary blocs not to cede power to municipalities.

On May 6, some 5.3 million voters will decide between over 2,000 validated lists in 350 municipalities.

These long-awaited and repeatedly postponed municipal elections are the first since the fall of the Ben Ali regime in 2011.

The election should anchor the democratic process at the local level.


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