TUNIS, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- Tunisia's National Constituent Assembly approved the north African country's new constitution after members of the legislative body voted overwhelmingly for the charter on Sunday night.
Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki, speaker of the NCA Mustapha Ben Jaafar and outgoing prime minister Ali Laarayedh held Monday an extraordinary plenary session to sign the new constitution, a document that took them more than two years to complete and three years after uprising that toppled president Zine Abidine Ben Ali.
In his opening speech, Ben Jaafar praised "Tunisia's pioneering experience in building a new democracy" and thanked the Tunisian people for standing by the NCA and for choosing "to break with tyranny and despotism."
The new constitution stipulates the separation of powers and the independence of the judicial authority. It also paves the way for establishing a state of law, expressed Ben Jaafar.
Outgoing Premier Ali Laarayedh of the Islamist Ennahdha movement, the party that swept the NCA elections more than two years ago, highlighted the efforts of the political elite to preserve the unity of the country.
"I am optimistic for the future of the country today and I feel that we are on the right path," he added when addressing the NCA members on Monday.
The international community congratulated Tunisia for its historic achievement.
"The Tunisian example can be a model for other peoples aspiring for change," commented UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon who also prompted the Tunisian political elite to hold transparent and inclusive elections.
Ban Ki-moon called on the international community to continue its support to Tunisia, strengthen its nascent democracy and help the north African country through future economic challenges.
Katherine Ashton, the EU foreign policy chief, said that the approbation of Tunisia's constitution represents an important progress in the country's democratic transition. "Tunisia was able to cope with the political challenges," she said.
Ashton also saluted the appointment of new Prime Minister Mehdi Jemaa who announced the composition of his new caretaker government Sunday night, just few hours before the vote on the finalized version of the constitution.
The chief of the European diplomacy reiterated the EU commitment to support Tunisia through the challenges of the next months.