Tunisia offers political assurances to EU

Oct. 3, 2012 at 11:37 AM
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BRUSSELS, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- The Tunisian prime minister offered assurances to members of the European Parliament that recent political gains would be secured for future generations.

A protest suicide in December 2010 sparked the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia that brought Islamic party Ennahda to power in elections this year.

Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jabali told the European Foreign Affairs Committee that his government was obligated to uphold basic democratic principles.

"We do not want a theocratic state but a democratic one, that serves citizens, and which will ensure the equality of all regardless of their origin or religion, including gender equality," he said in a statement.

A U.N. working group on discrimination against women had expressed concern that draft provisions in the Tunisian Constitution marked a major setback for women's role in modern society.

The new constitution should be finished by the beginning of next year. Parliamentary elections would follow adoption of the new constitution later in 2013.

Margaret Sekaggya, U.N. special envoy on human rights organizations, wraps up her visit to Tunisia Friday. It was the first such visit since the country's revolution.

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