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April 24, 2014

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Tunisia assembly prepares last vote on new charter

Updated Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014 | 10:49 a.m.

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Tunisia's elected National Constitutional Assembly is preparing for its final vote on the landmark post-revolutionary constitution its members have spent the last two years writing.

Sunday's vote had been scheduled for the afternoon, but then was delayed as the body debated minor amendments to the basic law organizing the government since the revolution.

The constitution must pass by a two-thirds majority or it goes to a popular referendum.

Tunisians overthrew their long-ruling dictator in 2011, setting off the Arab Spring movement.

Tunisia then elected an assembly to write a new constitution laying the foundations for the new democracy that would satisfy both its Islamist and secular elements.

The new document guarantees basic freedoms and gender equality. It has been called one of the most progressive constitutions in the Arab world.