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Tunisia's New Constitution Affirmed

FILE: Tunisians celebrate the exit polls indicating a vote in favor of the new Constitution, in Tunis, July 25, 2022.

Tunisia's new constitution giving the president far greater powers will go into effect after the official electoral commission announced final results on Tuesday for last month's referendum.

Opponents of President Kais Saied say the new constitution will unravel Tunisia's democratic gains from the 2011 revolution by giving him nearly unchecked powers.

Despite the concerns of many, the official 96% yes vote in the referendum, with 31% of the electorate taking part, was largely unchanged from the preliminary results announced last month.

Critics say the process by which he wrote the constitution was illegal and unilateral and have raised concerns over the legitimacy of the referendum after he replaced the board of the electoral commission.

Saied and his supporters have said the political system had to change to save Tunisia from years of stagnation and political paralysis and have defended the process by which he passed the constitution.