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Politics of Tunisia

Tunisia is a republic; its current Constitution, was adopted on 1 June 1959 soon after independence from France. It was amended on 12 July 1988, and then in 2002 it was changed solely to allow the president to run for reelection one more time in 2004. (In 1988, one of the amendments was to limit to 3 the number of terms a president is allowed to run).

Tunisia's Head of State, is President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who has held this role since November 7, 1987. According to the constitution this position is popularly elected, and in the last presidential election in 1999, the president received 99.4% of the vote. The presidential term lasts 5 years, and all adults older than 20 may vote.

The President appoints the Prime Minister and his cabinet, who since November 17, 1999 has been Mohammed Ghannouchi.

The Chamber of Deputies (Majlis al-Nuwaab) has 182 seats and members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms. The last elections were held on October 24, 1999, with a victory for the ruling Democratic Constitutional Rally with 91.6% of the vote.

{| !Party||Seats |------------------------------------------------- |Democratic Constitutional Rally || 148 |------------------------------------------------- |Movement of Socialist Democrats || 13 |------------------------------------------------- |Unionist Democratic Union || 7 |------------------------------------------------- |Popular Unity Party || 7 |------------------------------------------------- |Movement for Renewal || 5 |------------------------------------------------- |Liberal Social Party || 2 |}

Prior elections had resulted even more in favour of the government; the electoral code was changed to guarantee that the opposition won 34 seats.

Banned political parties include Al Nahda, an Islamist party, and the Tunisian Communist Workers Party, along with the National Council for Liberties in Tunisia and the Congress for the Republic

See also : Tunisia, List of political parties in Tunisia