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Tunisian parties reach compromise on constitution

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — The head of Tunisia's transitional parliament says rival political parties reached agreement on contentious points in a draft constitution, and the document will go to the legislature Jan. 3.

Tunisia's 2011 revolution to overthrow dictator Zine Abedine Ben Ali triggered protests to unseat autocratic leaders across the Arab world. But since then, Tunisia's hopes for renewal have foundered. The new constitution is meant to end months of political crisis.

Parliament President Mustapha Ben Jaafar said Saturday the ruling Islamist party, which had wanted a pure parliamentary system, agreed instead to give more powers to a president, including the power to dissolve the legislature.

In another compromise reached Saturday, the government, which had already agreed to hand power to technocrats in the run-up to elections, will do so on Jan. 8.

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