Coucil of Europe to help new Tunisian constitution

2nd March 2011, Comments 0 comments

The 47-member Council of Europe is to send to Tunisia high-level electoral and constitutional law experts, its most senior official said in Strasbourg Wednesday.

Council Secretary-General Thorbjoern Jagland said independent experts from its commission for democracy through law, known as the Venice Commission, would be there next week.

This consultative body acts as a constitutional "repair team" and includes 10 other states, including Tunisia, among its members. It played a crucial role in the adoption of constitutions that conformed to European standards after the break-up of the Soviet Union.

"What we can do is to assist the authorities in changing electoral law; after the parliamentary elections they can make a new constitution," Jagland, a former Norwegian president and foreign minister who raised the possibility of council help on a visit to Tunis on February 21, told reporters

"We have no geo-strategic, military or economic interest so it's easier for these countries to accept help from us," he said, adding that the council was not a tool of the European Union or the United Nations.

"We are not subcontracting to others."

Asked about a possible military intervention in Libya he said:"It is not in my mandate .. as a politician I would say we have many experiences, we should be cautious."

"I strongly join my voice to those against repression," he added.

© 2011 AFP

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