The National Reconciliation Act, a central pillar of the former government’s economic strategy has been abandoned following widespread popular resistance.
According to the Act, corruption charges against members of the former regime, including the coalition Troika government that followed it would be dropped in exchange for the return of an agreed amount of money that could be proven to have been obtained illegally.
However, the Act met with widespread resistance from large sections of Tunisian society. Virtual Campaigns, such as Manich Msameh, were launched to campaign against the proposed law with opponents of government policy taking to the street to resist the Act’s passage.
Speaking to Tunisia Live, Samar Tlili, a member of Manich Msameh insisted that, ” the National Reconciliation Act has not been abandoned but rather put aside.” According to Tlili that, while this latest episode marked a definite cause for celebration, “this, (Unity) government, like its predecessors, remains keen on financial reconciliation. ”
Moreover, while acknowledging the governments’ role in abandoning the Act, Tlili expressed skepticism as to the Unity Government’s true commitment to fighting corruption, characterizing much of the “war on corruption” as a collection of “glittering slogans.”
“Beji Caid Essebsi still invites prominent figures from the Ben Ali era regime, which essentially normalizes the ex regime.” However, the abandonment of the act still serves as a vivid reminder of the power of popular pressure and serves as a warning to further legislators.
According to Tlili, negotiations are presently underway between the Presidency and and members of the Parliament to draft a new Reconciliation Act, this time, Tlili says, one that will better abide by the principles of the Tunisian Constitution and the precepts of Transitional Justice.