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Tunisia Government 1999

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

    Data code: TS

    Government type: republic

    Capital: Tunis

    Administrative divisions: 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)

    Constitution: 1 June 1959; amended 12 July 1988

    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 26 September 1989)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
    elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 20 March 1994 (next to be held NA 1999); prime minister appointed by the president
    election results: President Zine El Abidine BEN ALI reelected without opposition; percent of vote—Zine El Abidine BEN ALI 99%

    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 20 March 1994 (next to be held NA 1999)
    election results: percent of vote by party—RCD 97.7%, MDS 1.0%, others 1.3%; seats by party—RCD 144, MDS 10, others 9; 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

    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 (observer), ISO, ITU, MINURCA, MINURSO, MIPONUH, NAM, OAS (observer), OAU, OIC, OPCW, OSCE (partner), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIBH, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Noureddine MEJDOUB
    chancery: 1515 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20005
    telephone: [1] (202) 862-1850

    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Robin L. RAPHEL
    embassy: 144 Avenue de la Liberte, 1002 Tunis-Belvedere
    mailing address: use embassy street address
    telephone: [216] (1) 782-566
    FAX: [216] (1) 789-719

    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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    Revised 1-Mar-99
    Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)