Besides many other powers, proposed constitution allows President Kais Saied present draft laws, have sole responsibility for proposing treaties and drafting state budgets.

Most of Tunisia's political parties have rejected President Saied's unilateral moves to rewrite constitution and urged voters to boycott vote.
Most of Tunisia's political parties have rejected President Saied's unilateral moves to rewrite constitution and urged voters to boycott vote. (Reuters)

Tunisia has published a proposed new constitution that will be put to a referendum next month, limiting the role of parliament and giving President Kais Saied far more power.

The text of the proposed constitution published on Thursday in the official gazette said Saied would continue to rule by decree until the creation of a new parliament through an election expected in December.

The new constitution would allow the president to present draft laws and have sole responsibility for proposing treaties and drafting state budgets, the gazette said.

The new constitution would also create a new 'Council of Regions' as the second chamber of parliament.

Previously, political power was more directly exercised by the parliament, which took the lead role in appointing the government and approving legislation.

Under the new constitution, the government would answer to the president, not to the parliament.

Most of Tunisia's political parties have rejected the president's unilateral moves to rewrite the constitution and urged voters to boycott the vote.

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Main parties to boycott referendum

Last year, in a move his opponents call a coup, Saied brushed aside the existing 2015 democratic constitution and dismissed the elected parliament to say he would rule by decree while he remakes the political system.

Saied is seeking to overhaul the constitution to give the presidency more powers, against the backdrop of a tanking economy and fears of a public finance crisis. He intends to put the new constitution to a referendum on July 25.

The president's supporters say he is standing up to elite forces whose bungling and corruption have condemned Tunisia to a decade of political paralysis and economic stagnation.

However Tunisia's main political parties have said they will boycott the referendum, and the powerful UGTT labour union has refused to take part in talks on the new constitution.

In the decree he issued this year ordering the referendum, Saied did not set any minimum level of participation to make the vote on Tunisia's future political system valid.

READ MORE: Tunisians continue to protest against president's constitution referendum

Source: TRTWorld and agencies