The Government of Tunisia

The Government of Tunisia

Tunisian Government

Country name: conventional long form: Tunisian Republic conventional short form: Tunisia local long form: Al Jumhuriyah at Tunisiyah local short form: Tunis

Government type: republic

Capital: name: Tunis geographic coordinates: 36 48 N, 10 11 E time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time) daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Administrative divisions: 24 governorates; Ariana (Aryanah), Beja (Bajah), Ben Arous (Bin 'Arus), Bizerte (Banzart), Gabes (Qabis), Gafsa (Qafsah), Jendouba (Jundubah), Kairouan (Al Qayrawan), Kasserine (Al Qasrayn), Kebili (Qibili), Kef (Al Kaf), Mahdia (Al Mahdiyah), Manouba (Manubah), Medenine (Madanin), Monastir (Al Munastir), Nabeul (Nabul), Sfax (Safaqis), Sidi Bou Zid (Sidi Bu Zayd), Siliana (Silyanah), Sousse (Susah), Tataouine (Tatawin), Tozeur (Tawzar), Tunis, Zaghouan (Zaghwan)

Independence: 20 March 1956 (from France)

National holiday: Independence Day, 20 March (1956); also the anniversary of BEN ALI's assumption of the presidency, 7 November (1987)

Constitution: 1 June 1959; amended 1988, 2002

Legal system: based on French civil law system and Islamic law; some judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court in joint session; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal except for active government security forces (including the police and the military), people with mental disabilities, people who have served more than three months in prison (criminal cases only), and people given a suspended sentence of more than six months

Executive branch: chief of state: President Zine el Abidine BEN ALI (since 7 November 1987) head of government: Prime Minister Mohamed GHANNOUCHI (since 17 November 1999) cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (no term limits); election last held on 24 October 2004 (next to be held in October 2009); prime minister appointed by the president election results: President Zine El Abidine BEN ALI reelected for a fourth term; percent of vote - Zine El Abidine BEN ALI 94.5%, Mohamed BOUCHIHA 3.8%, Mohamed Ali HALOUANI 1%

Legislative branch: bicameral system consists of the Chamber of Deputies or Majlis al-Nuwaab (189 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms) and the Chamber of Advisors (126 seats; 85 members elected by municipal counselors, deputies, mayors, and professional associations and trade unions; 41 members are presidential appointees; members serve six-year terms) elections: Chamber of Deputies - last held on 24 October 2004 (next to be held in October 2009); Chamber of Advisors - last held on 3 July 2005 (next to be held in July 2011) election results: Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - RCD 152, MDS 14, PUP 11, UDU 7, Al-Tajdid 3, PSL 2; Chamber of Advisors - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - RCD 71 (14 trade union seats vacant (due to boycott))

Judicial branch: Court of Cassation or Cour de Cassation

Political parties and leaders: Al-Tajdid Movement [Ahmed IBRAHIM]; Constitutional Democratic Rally Party (Rassemblement Constitutionnel Democratique) or RCD (official ruling party) [President Zine El Abidine BEN ALI]; Democratic Forum for Labor and Liberties or FDTL [Mustapha Ben JAFAAR]; Green Party for Progress or PVP [Mongi KHAMASSI]; Liberal Social Party or PSL [Mondher THABET]; Movement of Socialist Democrats or MDS [Ismail BOULAHYA]; Popular Unity Party or PUP [Mohamed BOUCHIHA]; Progressive Democratic Party [Maya JERIBI]; Unionist Democratic Union or UDU [Ahmed INOUBLI]; note - the Islamist party, Al Nahda (Renaissance), is outlawed

Political pressure groups and leaders: 18 October Group [collective leadership]; Tunisian League for Human Rights or LTDH [Mokhtar TRIFI]

International organization participation: ABEDA, AfDB, AFESD, AMF, AMU, AU, BSEC (observer), FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAS, MIGA, MONUC, NAM, OAPEC (suspended), OAS (observer), OIC, OIF, OPCW, OSCE (partner), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Tarek Ben YOUSSEF chancery: 1515 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20005 telephone: [1] (202) 862-1850 FAX: [1] (202) 862-1858

Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Robert F. GODEC embassy: Zone Nord-Est des Berges du Lac Nord de Tunis 1053 mailing address: use embassy street address telephone: [216] 71 107-000 FAX: [216] 71 963-263

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

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