By Roua Seghaier | Jan 7 2013Constitution ,hizb ettahrir ,National Constituent Assembly ,ummah
Political party Hizb Ettahrir criticized Tunisia’s democratic transition and the current constitutional draft atÂ a public meeting in GabÃ¨s on Sunday, January 6.
Formerly outlawed in Tunisia, Hizb Ettahrir gained legal recognition by the Ennahdha-led government and calls for the return of the Caliphate by political means.
The public gathering on Sunday centered on ways to ensure the â€œlegislative and doctrinal safety of the Ummah (the Muslim community)â€ in the political landscape, according to the meeting’s official title.
â€œA well-constructed ideological motive behind the constitution is more important than the constitution itself,” Hizb Ettahrir spokesperson RidhaÂ Belhaj stated on Tunisian radio Mosaique FM. “Yet, this motive is alienated.â€
In a separate interview with Tunisia Live, Belhaj criticized the constitutional draft for all of its concessions and compromisesÂ and considered it undesirable by Muslims.
â€œOurÂ UmmahÂ (the Muslim community) is not aÂ panhandlerÂ and wants Islamic law,â€ he said.
Sunday’s meeting is to be followed by a sit-in, organized by Hizb Ettahrir this Friday, before the National Constituent Assembly (NCA).
Protesters at the sit-in – titled â€œIs there a god other than Allah?â€ – will decry the absence ofÂ any referenceÂ to Shariaa law in the drafting of the constitution andÂ the NCA membersâ€™ disregard for theÂ Ummah’s will, according to Belhaj.
He stressed that the current situation does not reflect the aims of the revolution.
â€œNCA members are reproducing the old regime. Therefore, it is impossible for the constitution to have superior legitimacy,â€ Belhaj explained.
The sit-in seeks to exonerateÂ those in attendance from the faultsÂ in the current constitution before God, he stated.
In the media, Hizb Ettahrir has previously challenged NCA members to a public debate andÂ intends to address the three highest-level politicians – Moncef Marzouki, Hamadi Jebali, and Mustapha Ben Jaafar – in an open letter criticizing the political transition.
Belhaj expects â€œmilestoneâ€ results at Friday’s sit-in before the NCA in terms of â€œsymbolismâ€ rather than participation.Â Â The sit-in will inaugurate a caravan, undertaken by Hizb Ettahrir members, which will travel across the country to promote the partyâ€™s own constitution.