(Aug. 16, 2012) On August 14, 2012, the El Nahda Islamic Party of Tunisia announced that the final draft of the country's new Constitution will be submitted for a vote at the end of April 2013 to the National Constituent Assembly (NCA), Tunisia's temporary parliament in place until a constitution is finalized. The Party stated that the NCA will discuss the timetable for drafting the new Constitution at the NCA's next session, which will take place in September 2012.
The announcement contradicts previous statements issued by the El Nahda Party. Following the election of the National Constituent Assembly in October 2011, the Party had declared that the constitutional drafting process would take just one year. At that time, party officials, who are members of the government, had also declared that parliamentary elections would take place in March 2013.
The new date for voting on the final draft of the Constitution will effectively postpone parliamentary elections, because the elections cannot be held without the National Constituent Assembly's advance approval of the new Constitution. (The Tunisian Constitution Will Be Submitted to the National Constituent Assembly Next April [in Arabic], AL SHARQ AL AWSAT (Aug. 14, 2012).)