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Tunisian leaders sign new constitution

The United Nations hailed the adoption of the new charter as a ‘historic milestone’ for the country

Published: Updated:

Tunisia's leaders, President Moncef Mazrouki, outgoing premier Ali Larayedh and assembly speaker Mustapha Ben Jaafar, on Monday signed the new constitution, a landmark event in the birthplace of the Arab Spring.

Marzouki was the first to sign the charter which the national assembly adopted by an overwhelming majority in an overnight session, more than three years after the revolution that toppled a decades-old dictatorship.

A caretaker cabinet, with the task of organizing fresh polls, was named by the country’s prime minister-designate.

With these moves, the country hit two major objectives of the revolution that kicked off the wave of Arab Spring revolts three years ago.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed Tunisia’s adoption of a new constitution, saying it was a model to be followed by other countries seeking reform.

Tunisia “reached another historic milestone with the adoption today of the country’s new constitution,” Ban said in a statement carried out by Martin Nesirky, his spokesman.

The U.N. chief “believes Tunisia’s example can be a model to other peoples seeking reforms,” Nesirky added.

Praising the declaration, Ban said “Strengthening the democratic institutions… will help promote accountability and the rule of law with full respect to human rights.”

He also encouraged actors in Tunisia’s political scene to “ensure the next steps of the transition are conducted in a peaceful, inclusive and transparent manner,” as well as ensuring “economic growth is achieved in an equitable and sustainable manner.”