Chamber of Deputies (Tunisia)
|Chamber of Deputies
Sahbi Karoui (a. i.)
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
The Chamber of Deputies (Arabic: مجلس النواب Majlis an-Nuwwāb, French: Chambre des députés) was the lower chamber of the Parliament of Tunisia, the bicameral legislative branch of the government of Tunisia. It has 214 seats and members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms. 20% of the seats are reserved for the opposition. Elections are held in the last 30 days of each five-year term. To be eligible for office, one must be a voter with a Tunisian mother or father and be at least 23 years old the day candidacy is announced. Elections were most recently held in October 2009.
Under the original Tunisian constitution, the Chamber of Deputies theoretically possessed great lawmaking powers, and even had the right to censure the government by a two-thirds majority. In practice, the body was dominated by the Democratic Constitutional Rally (formerly the Neo-Destour Party and Socialist Destour Party) from independence until the 2011 Tunisian revolution. The Neo-Destour won every seat in the Chamber at the first elections in 1959, and continued to be the sole party in the legislature until all other parties were banned in 1963. Even after opposition parties were made legal again in 1981, they did not manage to enter the Chamber of Deputies until 1994. Even then, there was little opposition to executive decisions until the overthrow of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 2011. During the last few years of Ben Ali's tenure, the chamber took an increased role in debating national policy, but all legislation still originated with the president.
Elections held on October 24, 2004 and October 25, 2009, resulted in substantial majorities for the Democratic Constitutional Rally. The 2009 election yielded the following results:
|Constitutional Democratic Rally||3,754,559||84.59||161||+9|
|Movement of Socialist Democrats||205,374||4.63||16||+2|
|Popular Unity Party||150,639||3.39||12||+1|
|Unionist Democratic Union||113,773||2.56||9||+2|
|Social Liberal Party||99,468||2.24||8||+6|
|Green Party for Progress||74,185||1.67||6||+6|
|Democratic Forum for Labour and Liberties||5,329||0.12||0||—|
|Progressive Democratic Party||1,412||0.03||0||—|
|Blank or invalid votes||8,891||0.20|
|Source: POGAR, (French) Business News|
- Dahmène Touchent (August 2005). "A Guide to the Tunisian Legal System". New York University School of Law. Retrieved 3 November 2010.