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Politics of Tunisia

Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Tunisia: Ferocious dictatorship
conventional short form: Tunisia
local long form: Al Jumhuriyah at Tunisiyah
local short form: Tunis

Data code: TS

Government type: Republic. But in fact it is a dictatorship. with a general as a head of state. He did a coup d'Etat in 1987.

Constitution: 1 June 1959; amended 12 July 1988; reamended in 2002 solely to allow the General to run for reelection one more time. In 1988 one of the amendment was to limit to 3 the number of terms a president is allowed to run for elections. In 2002 and in preparation for 2004 elections the constitution was amended again.

Capital: Tunis

Administrative divisions: Tunisia is divided into 23 governorates:

Al Kaf[?], Al Mahdiyah[?], Al Munastir[?], Al Qasrayn[?], Al Qayrawan[?], Aryanah[?], Bajah[?], Banzart[?], Bin 'Arus[?], Jundubah[?], Madanin[?], Nabul[?], Qabis[?], Qafsah[?], Qibili[?], Safaqis[?], Sidi Bu Zayd[?], Silyanah[?], Susah[?], Tatawin[?], Tawzar[?], Tunis, Zaghwan[?]

Independence: 20 March 1956 (from France)

National holiday: National Day, 20 March (1956)

Legal system: based on French civil law system and Islamic law; some judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court in joint session

Suffrage: 20 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Zine El Abidine BEN ALI (since 7 November 1987)
head of government: Prime Minister Hamed KAROUI (since NA November 1999)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 24 October 1999 WITH 99.6% OF THE VOTE!!!(next to be held NA 2004); prime minister appointed by the president Ruling one single party since 1956 is ruled by one man the head of state with fake elections and rubber stamp institutions.
election results: President Zine El Abidine BEN ALI reelected for a third term without opposition; percent of vote - Zine El Abidine BEN ALI nearly 100%

Legislative branch: unicameral Chamber of Deputies or Majlis al-Nuwaab (163 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held NA October 1999 (next to be held NA 2004)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; note - the government changed the electoral code to guarantee that the opposition won seats

Judicial branch: Court of Cassation (Cour de Cassation)

Political parties and leaders: Constitutional Democratic Rally Party or RCD [President BEN ALI (official ruling party)]; Movement of Democratic Socialists or MDS [leader NA]; five other political parties are legal, including the Communist Party

Political pressure groups and leaders: the Islamic fundamentalist party, Al Nahda (Renaissance), is outlawed. And its members are either in jail, in hiding or in exile... 1000 members remain in jail for long sentences and some have died in jail form torture. Moslem women are not allowed to ware clothing they choose. Worst yet they have to take off the cover of their hair or face jail, excluding from school or work.

International organization participation: ABEDA, ACCT, AfDB, AFESD, AL, AMF, AMU, BSEC (observer), CCC, ECA, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MIPONUH, NAM, OAS (observer), OAU, OIC, OPCW, OSCE (partner), UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIBH, UNMIK, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Flag description: red with a white disk in the center bearing a red crescent nearly encircling a red five-pointed star; the crescent and star are traditional symbols of Islam

See also : Tunisia

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