Republic of Tunisia

al-Jumhuriyah al-Tunisiyah

Political Status: Independent state since 1956; republic proclaimed July 25, 1957; under one-party dominant, presidential regime.

Area: 63,170 sq. mi. (163,610 sq. km.).

Population: 8,785,364 (1994C); 9,998,000 (2004E).

Major Urban Centers (1994C): TUNIS (674,100), Sfax (Safaqis, 230,900), Ariana (152,700), Ettadhamen (149,200).

Official Language: Arabic; French is widely spoken as a second language.

Monetary Unit: Dinar (market rate July 1, 2005: 1.32 dinars = $1US).

President: Gen. Zine El-Abidine BEN ALI (Democratic Constitutional Assembly); appointed Prime Minister on October 2, 1987; acceded to the presidency upon the deposition of Habib BOURGUIBA on November 7; returned to office, unopposed, at elections of April 2, 1989, and March 20, 1994; reelected in multicandidate balloting on October 24, 1999, and on October 24, 2004.

Prime Minister: Mohamed GHANNOUCHI (Democratic Constitutional Assembly); appointed ...

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