State Structure and Political System of Tunisia

State Structure and Political System of Tunisia

According to microedu, Tunisia is a republic, the Constitution of 1959 (with subsequent amendments) is in force. The head of state is the president, who is both the head of the executive branch and also the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The President must be no younger than 40 and no older than 70 years old, elected by universal direct and secret ballot for a term of 5 years and can be re-elected for another 2 terms. The president can accept the resignation of the government on the proposal of the prime minister, if it is approved by 2/3 of the votes of the members of parliament, and also dissolve the parliament, after which new parliamentary elections are held.

In the event of the President’s inability, the President of the Chamber of Deputies (now Fuad Mbazaa) acts as Acting Head of State for a period of 45 to 60 days, after which a new presidential election must be held. The speaker of parliament cannot run for president.

Executive power is exercised by the President and the government (now Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi).

The judicial and legal system is based on the French system of law and Islamic law (Sharia). It includes the Court of Cassation in Tunisia, which consists of three civil and one criminal divisions. Tunisia, Sousse and Sfax have courts of appeal. There are 13 courts of first instance in the country. There are cantonal courts in 51 districts. The legal capacity of citizens comes when they reach the age of 20.

Administratively, the country is divided into 23 provinces (vilayets): Ariana, Beja, Ben-Arus, Bizerte, El-Kef, Gabes, Gafsa, Jendouba, Za-guan, Kairouan, Kasserine, Kebili, Mahdia, Medenine, Monastir, Nabeul, Sfax, Sidi Bou Zid, Siliana, Sousse, Tataouine, Touzar, Tunisia. The provinces are divided into delegations. The provinces are governed by governors appointed by the president on the proposal of the minister of the interior; in delegations, muatamads (delegates) are appointed by the minister of interior; in sheikhats, sheikhs (headmen). The governors have advisory bodies – councils consisting of 10-30 members. In communes with a municipal structure, there are municipal councils elected for 5 years.

The party composition of the parliament: Democratic Constitutional Association (DKO) – 148, Movement of Democrats-Socialists (DDS) – 13, Democratic Unionist Union (DYuS) – 7, Popular Unity Party (PNU) – 7, Renewal Movement – 5, Social Liberal Party (SLP) – 2. Total – 182 deputies.

The armed forces of Tunisia consist of the army, navy, air force, paramilitaries and the National Guard. Conscription into the Armed Forces is carried out from the age of 20 years, the term of service is 12 months. Military spending – $356 million (1.5% of GDP) (1999).

Regular armed forces number 35 thousand people, incl. Land 27 thousand, Navy 4.5 thousand, Air Force 3.5 thousand; National Guard 12 thousand; gendarmerie – 2 thousand people. (1999).

Tunisia has diplomatic relations with the Russian Federation (established with the USSR on July 11, 1956).

Economy of Tunisia

The economy of Tunisia includes the agricultural sector, mining, energy, tourism, manufacturing, transport, communications and services. GDP $64.5 billion ($600 per capita) (2001 est.). The share of sectors of the economy in the production of GDP: agriculture – 13%, industry – 33%, services – 54% (2000, estimate).

The economically active population is 2.69 million people. (2002, estimate).

In 1995-99 the average annual economic growth was 5-6%, in 2000-02 it was 5.4%. Inflation 2.7% (2001).

At the same time, the country maintains a high level of unemployment (according to official data, 15.6% of the economically active population), 6% of the population live below the poverty line.

State budget (2001, billion dollars): revenues – 5.7, expenditures – 6.3, including 1.5 capital expenditures.

Agricultural land in Tunisia is approx. 2/3 of the area of the country. The main crops are wheat, barley, corn, oats and sorghum. Fruits, grapes, olives, oranges and dates are grown in large quantities, which are also exported.

Fishing employs 60 thousand people. Its main center is Sfax, where the state has made major investments in the industry in recent years, including funds for the modernization of the fishing fleet, the renewal of approx. 30 fishing ports and research.

Tunisia has the most developed mining, manufacturing and energy industries. In 1998, the industry gave approx. 25% of GDP, it employed approx. 1/4 of the population.

For a long time, oil was the main source of Tunisia’s export earnings (in 1999, about 250 thousand tons of crude oil was produced in the country). From con. 1980s this role has shifted to textiles and food.

Tunisia ranks fourth in the world in terms of phosphate production (8 million tons were mined in 1999). Electricity production in 2000 was 10.3 billion kWh. The Miskar field provides more than 90% of all gas production (335 million m3 in 1999).

The textile and leather industries play a major role in production and export. In 1998, proceeds from the export of textile products amounted to 2950 million dinars, i.e. 45% of all export earnings.

The next most important industries are the production of steel, building materials, mechanical and electromechanical equipment, chemicals, paper and wood. Since the 1980s car assembly production is developing with the participation of European and American companies. Since 1992, plans have been implemented to create and develop a special high-tech offshore zone in Tunisia.

Particular attention is paid to the chemical industry. The main direction is the processing of phosphate rock into phosphate fertilizers and phosphoric acid. Paints, glue, detergents are also produced.

The length of roads is 23.1 thousand km (1997); 18.226 thousand km of roads are covered with asphalt or concrete. The total length of railways is 2170 km. There are 30 airports in the country, incl. 7 international. Tunisia has 7 main seaports. In total, Tunisia owns 16 sea transport vessels with a displacement of St. 1000 tons, and the entire merchant fleet (according to registration at the end of 1998) is 78 ships with a displacement of 193.5 thousand tons. In Tunisia, 797 km of pipelines for crude oil, 86 km for petroleum products and 742 km of gas pipelines were put into operation.

In order to bring the number of telephones in the country to 1 million, large investments were planned in the development of telephone communications. In 1998, the first global standard system for mobile phones was launched. In con. In 1998, the country’s telephone system had 734,000 subscribers.

Foreign trade (2001, billion US dollars): export – 6.6; import – 8.9. The main export commodities are textiles, manufactured goods, phosphates and chemicals, foodstuffs; imports – machinery, hydrocarbons, chemicals, foodstuffs.

Main export partners: France (28%), Italy (21%), Germany (14%), Belgium (6%), Libya (4%); imports: France (30%), Italy (21%), Germany (11%), Spain (4%) (2000).

Tourism income – 1950 million dinars (1999). The number of foreign tourists visiting Tunisia increased from 3.3 million in 1989 to 4.72 million in 1998. Approx. 2/3 of the tourists came from Europe, the rest – from the Maghreb countries.

Tunisia has 29 radio stations, 2.6 million radios (1998); 26 television stations (76 repeaters); 920 thousand TV sets (1997); 4 daily newspapers are published in Arabic and French with a total circulation of approx. 200 thousand copies, 16 periodicals. The Tunis Afrique Press news agency operates. 14 publishing houses are engaged in the release of various kinds of printed products.

Tunisia Politics

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