Tag: Tunisia

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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

Tunisia Geopolitics

Tunisia Geopolitics

Tunisia is a country in the Maghreb, the coastal strip of North Africa that extends from Morocco to Libya. From a geopolitical point of view it differs from other players in the area – such as Algeria and Libya – because it is not rich in natural resources; this feature unites it to Morocco and makes the country more dependent on relations with partners on the northern shore of the Mediterranean. Its strategic geographical location, on the southern shore of the Strait of Sicily and in the middle of the Mediterranean routes, makes Tunisia an important player for all the countries of southern Europe. Relations with the European Union (Eu), with which Tunisia signed an association agreement as early as 1998, represent one of the foreign policy priorities. In particular, the country has the closest ties with France, which was a colonial power in Tunisia for decades (until independence in 1956), and with Italy, for reasons of geographical proximity and historical relations. In the Maghreb area and, more generally, in the Middle East, Tunisia maintains good relations with all its neighbors and with all the Arab countries, although there are some tensions with Algeria, due to geostrategic and political reasons. Historically a second-rate country from a political and diplomatic point of view, both due to its marginal position with respect to the heart of the Middle East and its small size. For Tunisia political system, please check cancermatters.net.

In 2011, former president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, in office since 1987, was forced to flee to Saudi Arabia following two weeks of popular demonstrations and protests, in which about 80 people died. Since that moment, Tunisia has started a process of political transition, which was established with the election of a constituent assembly in October 2011. This body, in addition to having the task of writing the new constitutional charter of the country, also carried out legislative functions, pending the 2014 elections. Before this date, the assembly was composed of a majority that gravitated around the Islamic party Ennahda, which ruled in coalition with Ettakatol and the Congress for the republic. Despite the political and social divisions and the climate of polarization created in the aftermath of the victory of the Islamic party, after more than two years of discussion the assembly approved the new Constitution in January 2014. This was only the first step towards a more structured democratization process, continued with the national dialogue between the parties for the establishment of a technical government in 2014 – in a tense climate due to the assassination of two politicians belonging to the opposition forces, Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi -, that would lead the country to new elections. This phase was led by the so-called ‘quartet’, i.e. by four civil society associations (the largest trade union, This was only the first step towards a more structured democratization process, continued with the national dialogue between the parties for the establishment of a technical government in 2014 – in a tense climate due to the assassination of two politicians belonging to the forces of opposition, Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi -, leading the country to new elections. This phase was led by the so-called ‘quartet’, i.e. by four civil society associations (the largest trade union, This was only the first step towards a more structured democratization process, continued with the national dialogue between the parties for the establishment of a technical government in 2014 – in a tense climate due to the assassination of two politicians belonging to the forces of opposition, Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi -, leading the country to new elections. This phase was led by the so-called ‘quartet’, i.e. by four civil society associations (the largest trade union,Uggt; the association of industrialists; that of lawyers; the Tunisian League for Human Rights) which, precisely for this effort, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in October 2015. In October 2014, the first democratic parliamentary elections in republican history saw the victory of the secular formation Nidaa Tounes, led by the former minister (from the first years of the Bourguiba presidency) and head of the government (in the second transitional government after the fall by Ben Ali), Béji Caïd Essebsi. The latter, in December 2014, was then elected president of the republic. Following this election result, the two major parties, Ennahda and Nidaa Tounes, gave birth in 2015 to a coalition government led by Prime Minister Habib Essid, which also includes the Free Patriotic Union and Afek Tounes.

Tunisia Geopolitics