Date set for Tunisia legislative vote

2011-03-04 09:14

Tunis - Tunisia's interim president said on Thursday the country will vote July 24 to elect a constitutional assembly tasked with writing the country's new constitution.

Caretaker president Fouad Mebazaa called for the vote during a nationally broadcast address in which he said the new constitution "must be a mirror of the peoples' aspirations and the principles of the revolution."

Mebazaa said prior to the vote a group made up of national personalities, representatives of political parties and other civil society figures will write a new electoral code. The new code will be ready by the end of March, he said.

"Today we enter a new phase toward establishing the sovereignty of the people by means of a new political system that breaks from the former regime," Mebazaa added.

Mebazaa also said he would remain in office after March 15, the date at which his interim presidency would end under the old constitution.

Mebazaa called on Tunisians to put aside their personal or sectarian differences "in this very delicate time, especially along our borders", referring to the massive outpouring of refugees from neighbouring Libya.

"We must remain vigilant and show solidarity with our brothers from Libya," Mebazaa said.