President of Tunisia

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President of the Republic of Tunisia
رئيس الجمهورية التونسية
Président de la République tunisienne
Standard of the President of Tunisia.svg
Standard of the President of Tunisia
Moncef Marzouki

since 13 December 2011
Style Son Excellence
Residence Carthage Palace, Tunis
Term length Five years, renewable once
Inaugural holder Habib Bourguiba
Formation 1959
Coat of arms of Tunisia.svg
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The President of Tunisia, formally known as the President of the Republic of Tunisia (Arabic: رئيس الجمهورية التونسية‎, French: Président de la République tunisienne) is the head of state of Tunisia. Tunisia is a presidential republic in which the president is the head of the executive branch of government with the assistance of the Prime Minister of Tunisia, formally the head of government. Under Article 44 of the Constitution of Tunisia, the president is also the commander-in-chief of the Tunisian Armed Forces.


According to the constitution, the president is elected by universal suffrage for a term of five years. Currently, the president may be re-elected for an unlimited number of terms in office. This in contrast to the term limit of three terms that in place prior to June 2002, excluding the life presidency that existed between 1975 and 1987.

For most of its history as an independent state, Tunisia has lacked political freedom and has seen the violation of human rights. Because of this, presidencial elections in Tunisia, such as that of 2009, have lacked international credibility, with elections dominated by the ruling party, the Constitutional Democratic Rally and its previous incarnations as the Neo Destour party and the Socialist Destourian Party. Prior to 1999, presidential candidates had to be endorsed by at least 30 political figures. Given the RCD's near-total domination of Tunisian politics, opposition candidates found it impossible to get their nomination papers signed.

Since the promulgation of a republican constitution in June 1959, three years after gaining independence from France, Tunisia has had just two elected presidents. The first president was Habib Bourguiba, who became the country's first president after the proclamation of a republic in 1957; he had effectively served as the country's leader since independence in 1956. He was formally elected to the post in 1959, and was proclaimed president for life in 1975. He was removed from office in a coup d'état in 1987, during which he was declared medically unfit to perform his duties. His successor was Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who served as president from 1987 until 2011, when he was forced from office during an uprising against his rule.

The 2011 presidential transition[edit]

Following Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's ousting in January 2011, prime minister Mohamed Ghannouchi invoked article 56 of the Constitution regarding temporary absence of the President to assume the role of acting President.[1] This move was deemed unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court hours later and President of the Chamber of Deputies Fouad Mebazaa was appointed as acting President based on article 57 of the Constitution regarding permanent absence of the President.[2] On December 12, 2011, Moncef Marzouki was elected by the newly formed Constituent Assembly as interim President of the Republic.

Latest election[edit]

e • d Summary of the 25 October 2009 Tunisian presidential election results
Candidates Parties Votes  %
Zine El Abidine Ben Ali Constitutional Democratic Rally 4,238,711 89.62
Mohamed Bouchiha Popular Unity Party 236,955 5.01
Ahmed Inoubli Unionist Democratic Union 179,726 3.80
Ahmed Brahim Ettajdid Movement 74,257 1.57
Valid votes 4,729,649 99.84
Blank or invalid votes 7,718 0.16
Total 4,737,367 100.00
Voter turnout 89.45
Electorate 5,296,008
Source: POGAR, (French) Business News


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