Evolution of the Political Process in Tunisia
after the Revolution of January 14th, 2011
- On October 23rd, 2011, Tunisia held the election for the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) (217 seats), the first election since the 14th of January Revolution. The main task of the NCA is to draft the country's new constitution in order to organize, within a year or a year and a half, the presidential, legislative and local elections.
- Organized by an independent entity, “The Independent Higher Authority for the Election” (IHAE), the election was observed by several countries and regional and international organisations, including Japan.
- The Japanese observers’ delegation visited Tunisia on October 22-23 2011 and was led by Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Kazuyuki Hamada.
(Cf. the statements published by the MOFA on this occasion:
- The IHAE presented, on November 14th, the final results of the NCA election as follows:
- Ennahdha Movement: 89 seats (41.01%)
- Congress for the Republic: 29 seats (13.36%)
- Al-Aridha (People's Petition): 26 seats (11.98%)
- Ettakatol: 20 seats (9.21%)
- Progressive Democratic Party: 16 seats (7.37%)
- Al-Moubadara (Initiative): 5 seats (2.3%)
- Modernist Democratic Party: 5 seats (2.3%)
- Afek Tounes (Tunisia's Horizons): 4 seats (1.84%)
- Al-Badil Athawri (Revolutionary Alternative): 3 seats (1.38%)
- Social Democrats' Movement: 2 seats (0.92%)
- Haraket Achaab (People's Movement): 2 seats (0.92%)
- Sixteen independent tickets won one seat each.
- According to the IHAE, out of the total of 8,289,924 eligible voters, 4,308,888 cast their votes in these elections, i.e., a turn-out rate of 52% (54.1% at home and 29.8% abroad).
- On November 18th, the moderate Islamist party Ennahda, the Congress for the Republic Party (CPR) and the leftist Ettakatol party reached an agreement to form a coalition government and to share out the three presidencies as follows: Dr. Mohamed Moncef Marzouki, Chairman of CPR (cf. biography), President of the Republic; Dr. Mustapha Ben Jaafar, Chairman of Ettakattol (cf. biography), Speaker of the NCA; and Mr. Hammadi Jebali, Secretary General of Ennahdha (cf. biography), Prime Minister.
- The inaugural session of the NCA was opened on November 22nd, 2011.
- The same day, Dr. Mustapha Ben Jaafar, Chairman of Ettakatol party, was elected as Speaker of the NCA. He took the oath of office the following day.
- On November 23, 2011, Caretaker President, H.E. Mr. Foued Mebazaa, accepted the resignation of the Interim Government submitted by Prime Minister in the outgoing government, H.E. Mr. Beji Caid Essebsi, and tasked the Government of Mr. Essebsi with managing the country's current affairs until the formation of a new government.
- On December 10th, the NCA adopted a provisional constitution with 26 articles to guide the country's administration until the new constitution is drafted, including the election of a president and the creation of a new government.
- On December 12th, 2011, H.E. Dr. Mohamed Moncef Marzouki was elected President of the Republic of Tunisia by the NCA, with the majority of 153 votes. On December 13th, the new President was sworn in during an extraordinary session of the NCA.
- H.E. Dr. Mohamed Moncef Marzouki appointed on December 14th Mr. Hammadi Jebali, Secretary General of Ennahdha, as Prime Minister, and entrusted him with forming the new Government.
- The new Tunisian Government was approved by the NCA on 23rd December and sworn in on 24th December 2011 (Cf. the composition of the new Government).
New Government of the Republic of Tunisia
(Approved by the National Constituent Assembly on 23rd December
and sworn in on 24th December 2011)
- Prime Minister:Mr. Hamadi JEBALI
- Minister of Justice:Mr. Noureddine BHIRI
- Minister of National Defense:Mr. Abdelkrim ZBIDI
- Minister of Interior:Mr. Ali LAARAIDH
- Secretary of State to the Minister of Interior in charge of Reform:Mr. Said MECHICHI
- Minister of Foreign Affairs:Mr. Rafik ABDESSALEM
- Secretary of State to the Minister of Foreign Affairs in charge of the Arab World and Africa: Mr. Abdallah TRIKI
- Secretary of State to the Foreign Minister in charge of European Affairs:Mr. Touhami ABDOULI
- Secretary of State to the Minister of Foreign Affairs in charge of the Americas and Asia: Mr. Hedi BEN ABBES
- Minister of Finance:Mr. Houcine DIMASSI
- Secretary of State to the Minister of Finance:Mr. Slim BESBES
- Minister of Industry and Trade:Mr. Mohamed Lamine CHAKHARI
- Minister Delegate to the Minister of Industry and Trade in charge of Trade: Mr. Bechir ZAAFOURI
- Minister of Social Affairs:Mr. Khalil EZZAOUIA
- Secretary of State to the Minister of Social Affairs in charge of Immigration and Tunisian Expatriates:Mr. Houcine JAZIRI
- Minister of Investment and International Cooperation:Mr. Riadh BETTAIEB
- Secretary of State to the Minister of Investment and International Cooperation: Mr. Aleya BETTAIEB
- Minister of Regional Development and Planning:Mr. Jameleddine GHARBI
- Secretary of State to the Minister of Regional Development in charge of Planning: Mr. Lamine DOGHRI
- Minister of Education:Mr. Abdellatif ABID
- Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research:Mr. Moncef BEN SALEM
- Minister of Culture:Mr. Mehdi MABROUK
- Minister of Agriculture:Mr. Mohamed BEN SALEM
- Secretary of State to the Minister of Agriculture:Mr. Habib JEMLIMinister of Environment:Mrs. Mamiya EL BANNA
- Minister of Human Rights and Transitional Justice, and official spokesperson of the Government: Mr. Samir DILOU
- Minister of Women and Family Affairs:Mrs. Sihem BADI
- Minister of Health:Mr. Abdellatif MEKKI
- Minister of Religious Affairs:Mr. Noureddine KHADEMI
- Minister of Equipment:Mr. Mohamed SALMANE
- Secretary of State to the Minister of Equipment in charge of Housing:Mrs. Chahida BEN FRAJ Bouraoui
- Minister of Transportation:Mr. Karim HAROUNI
- Minister of Public Property and Estate:Mr. Slim BEN HMIDANE
- Minister of Employment and Vocational Training: Mr. Abdelwaheb MAATAR
- Minister of Information and Communication Technologies:Mr.Mongi MARZOUK
- Minister of Youth and Sports:Mr. Tarek DHIAB
- Secretary of State to the Minister of Youth and Sports in charge of Youth:Mr. Hichem BEN JAMEE
- Minister of Tourism :Mr. Elyes FAKHFAKH
- Minister to the Prime Minister in charge of Relations with the National Constituent Assembly: Mr. Abderrazak KILANI
- Minister to the Prime Minister in charge of Economic Affairs:Mr. Ridha SAIDI
- Minister to the Prime Minister in charge of Administrative Reform: Mr. Mohamed ABBOU
- Minister to the Prime Minister in charge of Governance and Fight against Corruption: Mr. Abderahmane LADGHAM
Dr. Mohamed Moncef MARZOUKI,
President of the Republic of Tunisia
H.E. Dr. Mohamed Moncef Marzouki was elected on December 12th, 2011 President of the Republic of Tunisia by the National Constituent Assembly.
Marzouki, born in July 1945, is a politician and a long time opponent of the ex President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
A medical doctor who graduated in 1980 from the University of Strasbourg, France, he later moved back to Tunisia and was a professor of community medicine at the University of Sousse from 1981 until 2000.
He started his political and rights activism in 1980 after he joined the Tunisian League of Human Rights. In 1987, he was elected as deputy president of the league and in 1989 became the president of Africa’s first human rights watchdog.
However, the league was dissolved in June 1992 after it opposed a new law on associations.
Marzouki, determined not to be intimidated, set up in 1993 the national committee to defend opinion prisoners. The authorities immediately banned it, arguing it was illegal.
Even though the league was reinstated in 1993, Marzouki said that he was not interested in a position within the group.
The activist then announced that he wanted to run for president in 1994. His decision marked a new series of punitive actions against him that included prison terms and the confiscation of his passport.
Marzouki was member of the Cairo-based Arab human rights league, Amnesty International – Tunisia section, chairman of the Arab human rights commission and spokesman for the national council for freedoms in Tunisia.
Marzouki founded the Congress for the Republic in 2001 and was selected its chairman, even though the authorities did not recognize it. He went to Paris in 2001. He returned home on January 18, 2011, four days after the departure of Zine Al Abidine Bin Ali.
Marzouki has published 16 books in Arabic and four in French, covering wide topics that ranged from medical ethics to human rights and the problems of democratization in the Arab world.
Marzouki won in the elections of October 23rd, 2011 as head of his party list in the governorate of Nabeul II, 60 km to the east of Tunis.
Dr. Mustapha Ben Jaafar
Speaker of the National Constituent Assembly
The Republic of Tunisia
Dr. Mustapha Ben Jaafar was elected Speaker of Tunisia’s Constituent Assembly on November 22, 2011 by 145 out of 213 votes.
He is the founder and Secretary General of the center-left party Ettakatol (FDTL), also called the Democratic Forum for Labor and Freedoms. His political party arrived in 3rd place with 20 seats at the Constituent Assembly.
Ben Jaafar was born in 1940 in Tunis to a family that was highly active within the néo-destourian movement as they tried to oust the French from Tunisian soil. During the 1960′s, Ben Jaafar studied medicine in France and was a member of the General Union of Tunisian Workers, a union that had a major role in the independence of Tunisia.
Returning from France, Ben Jaafar founded the Council of Liberties with other former members of the Destour Socialist Party (the sole governing party of Tunisia) in 1976. Although the activities of the council did not last long, it was the Council of Liberties that initiated the Tunisian Human Rights League, in 1978, the first human rights league in Africa and the Arab World. Ben Jaafar was also a founding member of the Democratic Socialist Party.
In 1994, Mustapha Ben Jaafar founded the Democratic Forum of Liberties and Labor, commonly known as Ettakatol. The party was only legalized in 2002 and had only a handful of representatives in the deputy chamber in Ben Ali’s government.
In 2009, Mustapha Ben Jafaar decided to run for the elections even though everybody knew that Zine-el-Abidine Ben Ali, then 73 years old, was going to win the elections. “Boycotting the presidential elections means giving up,” said Ben Jaafar in 2009 to Le Monde, French newspaper.
Mr. Hamadi Jebali
Head of the Government
The Republic of Tunisia
Mr. Hamadi Jebali, head of the Government, was born on October 13, 1949 in Sousse.
After having obtained his Baccalaureate in the technical high school of Sousse (1969), he continues his higher studies in France.
He obtained a master’s degree from the Faculty Sciences and Techniques of Rheims before carrying out studies of engineers in the Arts and Métiers in Paris ended by a diploma in thermodynamics and renewable energies.
He occupied during four years (1978-1981) the post of head of department of energy in an engineering and design department in Tunis.
Between 1981 and 1984, Mr. Jebali is elected president of the Movement of the Islamic Tendency (MIT) following the arrest of Mr. Rached Ghannouchi. In 1984, he is member of the executive committee of the MIT after the release of Mr. Ghannouchi who takes again the direction of the party.
Sentenced to death in 1987 at the end of the lawsuit of the members of the MIT, Mr. Jebali takes refuge in Spain.
In 1989, he profits from a general amnesty after the destitution of Bourguiba by Ben Ali. The same year, he regains Tunis and found the newspaper " El Fajr " (the dawn) of the Ennahdha party, but he is placed under continuous surveillance.
In December 1989, M.Jebali was arrested and sentenced to a prison term of 1 year following an article published in this newspaper criticizing the military tribunal.
In 1991, when anti-Islamic repression was at its height under the regime of Ben Ali, Mr. Jebali is sentenced to a prison term of 17 year, 10 of them in an isolated cell, and this within the framework of a wave of arrests which concerned 30 thousand Islamic militants.
In 2006, he is pardoned but put under house arrest in Sousse.
Shortly after the revolution and the fall of the regime of Ben Ali, he is elected, in March 2011, secretary-general of the movement " Ennahdha ", under the chairmanship of Mr. Ghannouchi. He was charged by the President of the Republic Moncef Marzouki, on December 13, 2011, to form the new government.
Mr. Hamadi Jebali is married and father of three girls.