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Tunisia since independence

Here are the main events in the history of Tunisia since independence

AFP, Friday 14 Jan 2011
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Views: 1229

- March 20, 1956: Tunisia becomes independent after 75 years as a French protectorate. Habib Bourguiba is named prime minister.

- July 25, 1957: The monarchy is abolished and Tunisia becomes a republic. Bourguiba is elected president.

- July 19, 1961: Bourguiba demands that French forces leave their naval base in Bizerte in the north. Diplomatic relations with France are cut. Fighting breaks out and 1,000 are killed, mainly Tunisian civilians.

- October 15, 1963: France pulls out of Bizerte.

- November 7, 1987: Prime Minister Ben Ali takes power after having Bourguiba declared mentally unfit to rule.

- April 2, 1989: Ben Ali wins presidential elections.

- March 20, 1994: Ben Ali is re-elected.

- September 25, 1999: Ben Ali wins a third term at the first multi-party presidential elections.

- April 6, 2000: Bourguiba dies at the age of 96.

- April 11, 2002: A bomb explosion at a synagogue in the resort of Djerba kills 21 people, 14 of them German tourists. Al-Qaeda claims responsibility.

- May 27, 2002: Ben Ali wins a referendum on constitutional changes allowing him to stand for a fourth term.

- October 24, 2004: Ben Ali wins a fourth term with 94.48% of the vote.

- July 3, 2005: An upper house is introduced in parliament - the Chamber of Councillors. It is dominated by the ruling RCD party.

- January-June, 2008: Sporadic demonstrations take place in the south-western mining region of Gafsa. On June 6, one demonstrator is shot dead and several injured in clashes with police.

- February, 2009: A French court sentences a German convert to Islam and suspected Al-Qaeda operative to 18 years in prison over the 2002 Djerba synagogue attack.

- October, 2009: Ben-Ali wins a fifth term in office.

- December 19, 2010: A wave of unrest and clashes breaks out across the country over unemployment and high prices. Protests continue in January, with at least 66 killed.

- January 14, 2011: Ben Ali leaves the country to be replaced by interim president Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi.

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