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State structure

Tunisia parliament buildingTunisia parliament buildingPhoto: Yamen CC 3.0 Unported no changes made

According to the 1959 constitution, the head of the republic is the president, who is elected by universal suffrage for five years. He can stand for re-election twice and must be at least 40 years old. He is Chief of the Executive and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. He is assisted by a council of ministers headed by a prime minister. Legislative power rests with the National Assembly, whose 163 members are elected by universal suffrage for five years. Everyone over twenty years of age has the right to vote. The president has a right of veto over the National Assembly. However, a veto by the president can again be overruled with a two-thirds majority.

Tunisia is a member of the United Nations and several UN agencies, the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the Arab League, the Islamic Conference Organization and the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU). The country is associated with the EU. For the current political situation see chapter history.

Administrative division

Administrative division of TunisiaAdministrative division of TunisiaPhoto: TUBS CC 3.0 Unported no changes made

Tunisia is administratively divided into 23 gouvernorats (vilajat), headed by a wali (governor). They are again subdivided into delegations (Moetamaddijjat), which are subdivided into municipalities. The city council elects the mayor.


University of TunisUniversity of TunisPhoto: Public domain

Until independence in 1956, only 10 percent of Tunisian children were in education. Under President Bourguiba, education was given high priority and many primary and secondary schools were built. Many teachers were also trained. In the mid-1980s, about 95% of the children went to school. Pprimary school lasts six years. However, the number of teaching hours is only about 850. People are now considering extending primary school time by two years. French is taught from the third grade of primary school. The secondary school has six classes and a preparatory year for university study. One can also opt for a three-year course that trains for all kinds of professions and crafts. English and German are optional subjects and Quran is taught a few hours a week.


Dominicus, J. / Tunesië

Ruland-Wachters, T. / Reishandboek Tunesië


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Last updated May 2024
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