Flag of Tunisia

Tunisia Government Profile 2017

Home > Factbook > Countries > Tunisia

Country nameconventional long form: Republic of Tunisia
conventional short form: Tunisia
local long form: Al Jumhuriyah at Tunisiyah
local short form: Tunis
etymology: the country name derives from the capital city of Tunis
Government typeparliamentary republic
Capitalname: Tunis
geographic coordinates: 36 48 N, 10 11 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions24 governorates (wilayat, singular - wilayah); 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), L'Ariana (Aryanah), Mahdia (Al Mahdiyah), Manouba (Manubah), Medenine (Madanin), Monastir (Al Munastir), Nabeul (Nabul), Sfax (Safaqis), Sidi Bouzid (Sidi Bu Zayd), Siliana (Silyanah), Sousse (Susah), Tataouine (Tatawin), Tozeur (Tawzar), Tunis, Zaghouan (Zaghwan)
Independence20 March 1956 (from France)
National holidayIndependence Day, 20 March (1956); Revolution and Youth Day, 14 January (2011)
Constitutionhistory: several previous; latest approved by Constituent Assembly 26 January 2014, signed by the president, prime minister, and Constituent Assembly speaker 27 January 2014
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic or by one-third of members of the Assembly of the Representatives of the People; following review by the Constitutional Court, approval to proceed requires an absolute majority vote by the Assembly and final passage requires a two-thirds majority vote by the Assembly; the president can opt to submit an amendment to a referendum, which requires an absolute majority of votes cast for passage (2017)
Legal systemmixed legal system of civil law, based on the French civil code, and Islamic law; some judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court in joint session
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Tunisia
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
Suffrage18 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 branchchief of state: President Beji CAID ESSEBSI (since 31 December 2014)
head of government: Prime Minister Youssef CHAHED (since 27 August 2016)
cabinet: selected by the prime minister and approved by the Assembly of the Representatives of the People
elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 23 November and 21 December 2014 (next to be held in 2019); following legislative elections, the prime minister is selected by the majority party or majority coalition and appointed by the president
election results: Beji CAID ESSEBSI elected president; percent of vote in runoff - Beji CAID ESSEBSI (Tunisia's Call) 55.7%, Moncef MARZOUKI (CPR) 44.3%
Legislative branchdescription: unicameral Assembly of the Representatives of the People or Nuwwab ash-Sha'b (Assemblee des representants du peuple) (217 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: initial election held on 26 October 2014 (next to be held in 2019)
election results: percent of vote by party - Call to Tunisia 39.6%, Nahda 31.8%, UPL 7.4%, Popular Front 6.9%, Afek Tounes 3.7%, CPR 1.8%, other 8.8%; seats by party - Call to Tunisia 86, Nahda 69, UPL 16, Popular Front 15, Afek Tounes 8, CPR 4, other 17, independent 2
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Court of Cassation or Cour de Cassation (organized into 1 civil and 3 criminal chambers); Constitutional Court (consists of 12 members)
note: the new Tunisian constitution of January 2014 called for the creation of a constitutional court by the end of 2015; the court will consist of 12 members - 4 each appointed by the president, Supreme Judicial Council or SJC (an independent 4-part body consisting mainly of elected judges and the remainder legal specialists), and the Chamber of the People's Deputies (parliament); members will serve 9-year terms with one-third of the membership renewed every 3 years; in late 2015, the International Commission of Jurists called on Tunisia's parliament to revise the draft on the constitutional court to ensure compliance with international standards; as of spring 2017 the court had not been appointed
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges nominated by the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC), a body of elected and appointed judges and specialized staff, after consultation with the prime minister; judge tenure based on terms of appointment; Constitutional Court members appointed 3 each by the president of the republic, the Chamber of the People's Deputies, and the SJC; members serve 9-year terms with one-third of the membership renewed every 3 years
subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; administrative courts; Court of Audit; Housing Court; courts of first instance; lower district courts; military courts
Political parties and leadersAfek Tounes [Yassine BRAHIM]
Al Badil Al-Tounisi (The Tunisian Alternative) [Mehdi JOMAA]
Call of Tunisia (Nidaa Tounes) [Hafedh CAID ESSEBSI]
Congress for the Republic or CPR [Imed DAIMI]
Current of Love [Hachemi HAMDI (formerly the Popular Petition party)
Democratic Alliance Party [Mohamed HAMDI]
Democratic Current [Mohamed ABBOU]
Democratic Patriots' Unified Party [Zied LAKHDHAR]
Free Patriotic Union or UPL (Union patriotique libre) [Slim RIAHI]
Green Tunisia Party [Abdelkader ZITOUNI]
Machrou Tounes (Tunisia Project) [Mohsen MARZOUK]
Movement of Socialist Democrats or MDS [Ahmed KHASKHOUSSI]
Nahda Movement (The Renaissance) [Rachid GHANNOUCHI]
National Destourian Initiative or El Moubadra [Kamel MORJANE]
Party of the Democratic Arab Vanguard [Ahmed ESSADDIK]
People's Movement [Zouheir MAGHZAOUI]
Popular Front (a coalition of 9 parties including Democratic Patriots' Unified Party, Workers' Party, Green Tunisia, Tunisian Ba'ath Movement, and Party of the Democratic Arab Vanguard)
Republican Party [Issam CHEBBI]
Tunisian Ba'ath Movement [Othman BELHADJ OMAR, secretary general]
Workers' Party [Hamma HAMMAMI]
Political pressure groups and leadersTunisian Association of Women Democrats or ATFD
Tunisian League for Human Rights or LTDH [Jamel MSALLEM]
Tunisian General Labor Union or UGTT [Noureddine TABOUBI]
Tunisian Women's Association for Research and Development or AFTURD
International organization participationABEDA, AfDB, AFESD, AMF, AMU, AU, BSEC (observer), CAEU, CD, EBRD, FAO, G-11, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAS, MIGA, MONUSCO, NAM, OAS (observer), OIC, OIF, OPCW, OSCE (partner), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Faycal GOUIA (since 18 May 2015)
chancery: 1515 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20005
telephone: [1] (202) 862-1850
FAX: [1] (202) 862-1858
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador Daniel H. RUBINSTEIN (Since 22 October 2015)
embassy: Zone Nord-Est des Berges du Lac Nord de Tunis 1053
mailing address: Zone Nord-Est des Berges du Lac Nord de Tunis 1053
telephone: [216] 71 107-000
FAX: [216] 71 963-263
Flag descriptionred with a white disk in the center bearing a red crescent nearly encircling a red five-pointed star; resembles the Ottoman flag (red banner with white crescent and star) and recalls Tunisia's history as part of the Ottoman Empire; red represents the blood shed by martyrs in the struggle against oppression, white stands for peace; the crescent and star are traditional symbols of Islam
note: the flag is based on that of Turkey, itself a successor state to the Ottoman Empire
National symbol(s)encircled red star and crescent; national colors: red, white
National anthemname: "Humat Al Hima" (Defenders of the Homeland)
lyrics/music: Mustafa Sadik AL-RAFII and Aboul-Qacem ECHEBBI/Mohamad Abdel WAHAB
note: adopted 1957, replaced 1958, restored 1987; Mohamad Abdel WAHAB also composed the music for the anthem of the United Arab Emirates

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on July 9, 2017

Government Comparison