Republic of Tunisia
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: 9,910,872 (2004C); 10,273,000 (2007E).
Major Urban Centers (2005E): TUNIS (734,000), Sfax (Safaqis, 269,000), Ariana (252,000), Ettadhamen (116,000).
Official Language: Arabic; French is widely spoken as a second language.
Monetary Unit: Dinar (market rate November 1, 2008: 1.38 dinars = $1US).[Page 1358]
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 ...