Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement regarding the democratic transition in Tunisia:
“I congratulate the Tunisian people and their government on the progress in their political transition this week, and on their ongoing work to build a stable, democratic and prosperous future.
“The latest steps in Tunisia’s democratic transition offer a positive model to people everywhere seeking reform. Tunisia’s reform process began three years ago with the revolution that ignited the Arab Spring, setting the country on a challenging path away from dictatorship and towards democracy. The establishment of the Independent Elections Commission and installation of a transitional government led by Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa are critical steps. The new constitution ratified this week by an overwhelming majority in the National Assembly will guide Tunisian leaders and citizens as they continue to chart a path forward based on dialogue, moderation, and shared commitment to peaceful reform.
“Tunisia’s new constitution guarantees freedom of conscience, equal rights and equal representation for men and women, rule of law, and a clearly defined set of civilian institutional checks and balances. While the true value of any constitution ultimately lies in its implementation, the shared spirit of compromise that has guided Tunisia’s political parties to this point is a historic achievement. The road ahead will not be easy, and Tunisia must confront the difficult challenges of economic reform and youth unemployment. The United States will continue to stand by Tunisia and work with public and private Tunisian partners to support the next steps in this historic process.”