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Ban: Tunisia a 'Model' with New Constitution

  • VOA News

Members of the Tunisian parliament wave flags after approving the country's new constitution in the assembly building in Tunis, Jan. 26, 2014.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has commended Tunisia on its new constitution, saying he believes the country can be a "model to other peoples seeking reforms."

Ban described Tunisia's democratic transition as marked by a commitment to dialogue and consensus, and called for its next steps to be peaceful, inclusive and transparent. He also urged Tunisia to ensure equitable and sustainable economic growth.

An uprising in Tunisia three years ago launched the so-called Arab Spring. The country's national assembly approved a new constitution Sunday that is one of the most progressive in the Arab world.

The document sets out to make Tunisia a democracy and is not based on Islamic law.

Its approval came after Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa named a new caretaker Cabinet to ease a crisis between Islamists and the secular opposition until new elections later this year.

Tunisia's compromise and progress contrasts sharply with messy democratic transitions in Libya, Egypt and Yemen, which are caught up in turmoil after ousting their own long-standing leaders in 2011 revolts and uprisings.