An official decision to end the appointment of judicial judges to the presidency, government, and constitutional bodies was widely welcomed by Tunisia, even among the judges themselves, and was considered a step towards consolidating the independence of the judiciary and distancing it from conflicts.
The decision issued by the Judicial Judicial Council came in light of a new chapter in the battle of powers between President Kais Saied and Prime Minister Hisham Al-Mashishi, following the dismissal of Al-Mashishi, the head of the Anti-Corruption Commission, Judge Imad Boukhreis, and the appointment of another judge to head the commission. Read also The Tunisian parliament approves the draft law on the formation of the Constitutional Court Published by Middle East Eye.. A leaked secret document from the Tunisian presidency talks about a plan for a “constitutional dictatorship” Controversy in Tunisia after the Prime Minister dismissed the head of the Anti-Corruption Committee
An official statement issued by the Supreme Judicial Council considered that the decision to end appointing judges to political positions comes within the framework of keenness to “consecrate the principles of independence, impartiality and distance the judiciary from all political disputes.”
A member of the Judicial Judicial Council, Judge Walid Al-Maliki, told Al Jazeera Net, that the decision taken comes to preserve the dignity and reputation of the judges after engaging them in political battles, and the smear campaigns that dragged on them, and stressed the judiciary’s keenness to stay away from political rivalries, pointing out that this decision It would keep judges away from the temptations of political office and prevent them from being domesticated.
The decision to neutralize judges from political positions was praised and unanimously praised by the ruling and opposition parties, as MP Abdul Razzaq Oweidat described it as a “bold step.”
Owaidat said, in an interview with Al-Jazeera Net, that the overlap between the executive and judicial authorities in recent years by appointing judges to political positions at the behest of a political party has affected the reputation of the judiciary and made it the target of criticism.
And the deputy added, “Let’s take, for example, the ministers of judges in the Meshishi government who were voted for by Parliament and President Qais Saeed refused to take the constitutional oath. After they return to practicing their judicial activity, they will have positions from the authorities that appointed them and the others that rejected them, and this will be reflected in their judicial decisions in the future.”
In the same context, Oweidat called for the necessity of stopping the question of the sovereignty of the judicial institution, and for it to preserve the independence of its decisions without being tempted or blackmailed by any political party.
In turn, Al-Nahda spokesman, Fathi Al-Ayadi, praised the decision of the Judicial Judiciary Council, in an interview with Al-Jazeera Net, that political conflicts were contagious to the judiciary, and that it had threatened its cohesion and independence.
Al-Ayadi considered that the statement of the Judicial Judicial Council, which set standards and work regulations for its perspectives, would reinforce the independence of the judicial judiciary, and distance it from political battles and calculations.
In the past few years, the judiciary in Tunisia has often been accused of lacking independence and submitting to the dictates of political and partisan authorities. The appointment of a significant number of them to ministerial positions has sparked widespread controversy regarding the independence of the judiciary.
The head of the Judges Association, Anas Al Hammadi, had previously called on the Supreme Judicial Council to take a clear and explicit position on the issue of appointing judges to political positions, warning of the danger of this and its repercussions on the independence of the judiciary and the overlap of powers. Al-Hammadi said in local media statements that “the independence of the judiciary is targeted by all parties and is not immune from within.”
For his part, the Secretary-General of the Republican Party, Issam Chebbi, questioned, in a post on his Facebook account, the background of the decision to end the appointment of judges to occupy political positions, and considered it an attempt to distance the judiciary from political conflicts. Al-Shabi considered that “the timing and the urgency of the communication issued in this regard reinforces doubts about the reality of involving the judiciary, like other institutions, in the battle for influence and the alignment that exhausted the state,” as he put it.