During the last several weeks, we have unfortunately witnessed many indications of deteriorating security in many regions across the country, misuse of the gift of freedom, and a decline in confidence and trust among many Tunisians. Economic stability and well-being have also deteriorated resulting in unequal access to opportunities and inadequate social standards.
These negative and dangerous signs implore all educated and concerned citizens to take some initiatives to save the country from instability and chaos, to protect security, and return confidence and trust in the objectives of the revolution.
To instate these necessary reforms requires a quick return to legitimacy, a national unity government with all necessary tools, and a political environment that allows ample space for national efforts to manage the crisis. It requires all political parties and national organizations and movements to put the interest of the nation above everything else, especially above petty politics. It also requires all citizens and workers to return to work and do their utmost to strengthen the national economy, and facilitate job growth and economic prosperity.
For these efforts to succeed, we must also foster an environment that facilitates national reconciliation and the emergence of a national unity front, and we must not allow normal and political differences of opinions to weaken our democratic transition or to distract us from the objectives of our revolution.
We believe that this appropriate environment for national reconciliation and unity can best be achieved by:
1. Maintaining the date of Oct. 23, 2011 for the election of the National Constituent Assembly, and considering this date to be final and binding, without the option of postponement for any reason.
2. Delaying the major debates and decisions from the Consultative Bodies until the election of the National Constituent Assembly, which is the only body legally mandated for such decisions, and considering all decisions and recommendations of these temporary councils nonbinding and represent only recommendations for the pre-elections period.
3. Recognizing that running for membership in the National Constituent Assembly is a right for all citizens, which cannot be denied except by an independent court, with the justifiable exclusion of a small number of people who held high-level positions in the government or in the RCD during the past 10 years of the Ben Ali regime.
4. Emphasizing that the Arab and Islamic identity of the country, including religion, language, heritage, and civilization is a matter of consensus, and not open to discussion or revision.
5. Demanding the nomination of additional members to the Independent Election Commission in order for it to be more inclusive and representative of all major political and social movements and to guarantee greater transparency of the elections commission; assigning the presidency of the regional election committees to the highest judge in the district; referring all disputes related to the elections to the Administrative Court; and insisting on having a large number of international observers to monitor the elections, in addition to Tunisian observers (from political parties and NGO's) and public notaries.
6. Working towards ending the temporary transitional period, which characterizes both public life and the institutions of the government, by adopting a clear agenda for presidential and legislative elections, following the election of the Constituent Assembly, and by establishing a permanent elected and representative government no later than July 25, 2012.
7. Expressing our great concern for the lack of balance and impartiality from local and national media outlets (both private and public) in their dealings with political issues and parties, and we demand that the national media must remain neutral, refrain from taking sides, manipulating or excluding anyone, and focus on educating rather than exciting the public.
Signed in Tunis, Tunisia on July 15, 2011, by 300 National Independent Figures, Leaders, and Activists .