Human Rights Day, National Day Against Racial Discrimination.
March 21, 2016
March 23, 2016


Tunisia, home to the ancient city of Carthage; it is a former crucial player in the Mediterranean due to its geo-location at the centre of North Africa and close to important shipping routes. The former French colony got its independence in 1956 and for more than three decades Tunisia`s first President Habib Bourguiba established a strict one party state. President Habib`s 31 year rule was characterized by repressing Islamic fundamentalism and establishing rights for women that are unmatched by any other Arab nation. In November 1987, the then President Bourguiba was removed from office and replaced by Zine el Abidine Ben Ali in a bloodless coup. A decade later street protests erupted in Tunis over high unemployment, corruption, widespread poverty compounded by high food prices that escalated in January 2011 and culminated into rioting which led to hundreds of deaths. On 14 January 2011, the same day Ben Ali dismissed the government, he fled the country, and by late January 2011, a national unity government was formed.  Elections for the new constituent Assembly were held in late October 2011, and in December, it elected human rights activist Moncef Marzouki as interim president. The Assembly began drafting a new constitution in February 2012 and, after several iterations and a months-long political crisis that stalled the transition, ratified the document in January 2014. Parliamentary and presidential elections for a permanent government were held at the end of 2014. Beji Caid Essebsi was elected as the first president under the country’s new constitution. President Beji Caid Essebsi Currency Tunisian dinar Capital City Tunis GDP US$ 48.61 billion (2014) Population (2014) 11.1 million Religion Sunni Muslims, Shia Muslims, Christians Surface area 163,610 km² Language Arabic Government Republic. Democracy Ranking (2015 World) 57