News from Tunisia

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Tunisia

OCTOBER 25

On Wednesday a Tunisian court sentenced the leader of radical Islamist group Ansar al-Sharia, Abu Ayub, to one year in prison for inciting an attack on the U.S. embassy in Tunis last month in which four people were killed. | Reuters

Tunisia’s National Constituent Assembly started its discussion of the preliminary draft of Tunisia’s constitution with controversy over articles that would deal with the nature of human rights and criminalizing in the constitution the normalization of relations with Israel. | Al-Hayat; TAP

OCTOBER 24

Dar Assabah journalists have suspended their nineteen-day hunger strike and 57-day sit-in, following an agreement reached between the government and the Tunisian General Labor Union. | TAP

Information Officer at the Ministry of Human Rights and Transitional Justice Chakib Darouich said that an independent authority will be created under the draft law on transitional justice to draw up the “blacklist” of journalists loyal to the old regime. | TAP

Acting Finance Minister Slim Besbes said that the Tunisian government is targeting a growth rate of about 4.5 percent for 2013 and limiting the budget deficit to 5.9 percent, as opposed to 6.6 percent in 2012. | African Manager

OCTOBER 23

The leader of the radical Tunisian Islamist group Ansar al-Sharia, Saif-Allah Benahssine, accused the country’s Islamist-led government of being a puppet of the United States and un-Islamic, urging it to release Salafis jailed after an attack on the U.S. embassy last month. | Reuters

Thousands of secularist protesters in Tunis accused Tunisia’s Islamist government of undermining a transition to democracy by failing to stem violence after a secular politician was killed in political violence last week. | Reuters

The sudden termination of the live broadcast of four of Tunisia’s channels last night, along with heavy military deployment in Tunis to secure protests, highlighted fears of political uncertainty while false rumors circulated that the military was initiating a coup. | Al-Hayat

OCTOBER 22

Tunisia’s capital is witnessing special police and military security preparation for a planned peaceful march by Nidaa Tunis Party, the Republican Party, and the Social Democratic Path Party to protest recent political violence. | TAP

President Marzouki ordered a judicial investigation into the killing of a Nidaa Tunis politician following violent clashes last week. Marzouki said that that the secular politician was trampled over and that Tunisia has experienced an atrocity that cannot be accepted. | Al-Hayat

The Tunisian central bank governor said Japan will provide a $600 million loan guarantee to support Tunisia’s democratic transition and economic recovery. | Reuters

OCTOBER 19

Clashes between Islamists and secular opponents in the southern Tunisian town of Tataouine on Thursday left a secular politician dead and nine others injured. | Reuters

In response to a journalists’ general strike, Tunisia's Islamist-led administration is to launch its own Internet television channel, Kasbah TV, to try to get its message across. | Reuters

Tunisia Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the French ambassador to protest what they say is France’s interference in internal Tunisian affairs and warned France that close to crossing a red line. | Al-Hayat

OCTOBER 18

In response to a nationwide journalist general strike, the Tunisian government vowed to implement two decrees guaranteeing press freedom and regulating audiovisual media, a key demand of journalists striking nationwide. | AFP

Leader of Tunisia's ruling Islamist Ennahda party, Rachid Ghannouchi, said that demonizing ultra-conservative Salafi Islamists is a mistake that will only lead to them eventually winning power. | Reuters

OCTOBER 17

Tunisian journalists are on a general strike today to protest the Ennahda government’s restricting of freedom of speech. The strike, which also involved staff at state-run televisions and news agency TAP, was called by the 1,200-member journalists' union and is the first ever staged in Tunisia. | Reuters

On Tuesday five masked Salafis stormed into and set fire to a 500-year-old shrine to a female Muslim Sufi saint near the capital Tunis. | ABC News

General strikes were held on Tuesday in the central Tunisian towns of Ksar and Thala, with residents accusing the government of failing to improve living conditions. | Now Lebanon

OCTOBER 16

Hundreds of Tunisians demonstrated in front of the Constituent Assembly building to demand an article criminalizing and banning normalization of relations with Israel to be included. Tunisia currently has no normalized relations with Israel, and only for a brief period between 1996 and 2000 did the two countries have an interest section. | Youm7

Tunisia's General Labor Union is holding the National Dialogue Congress today to serve as a forum for Tunisia’s political factions to reach a consensus for the next political stages in the transition. The president, top members of his cabinet, along with some 50 parties, 22 organizations and several national figures and Constituent Assembly members are attending this congress, Ennahda and the Congress for the Republic boycotted the meeting. | TAP

OCTOBER 15

The Tunisian government announced that presidential and parliamentary elections will be held June 23, 2013. The election date was set after political factions came to an agreement on the constitution and Islamists dropped their push to include blasphemy laws. | AFP

Human Rights Watch has called on Tunisian authorities to investigate the series of attacks by religious extremists over the past ten months and bring those responsible to justice. | HRW

OCTOBER 11

Constituent Assembly Speaker Mutapha Ben Jaafar said that he expects the draft constitution will be ready in two weeks. | TAP

The Tunisia chapter of Amnesty International called on the National Constituent Assembly to write the abolition of the death penalty into the Constitution. A day earlier Head of European delegation in Tunisia Laura Baeza said that the EU supported Tunisia in its process to abolish the death penalty. | TAP

OCTOBER 10

A leaked secretly filmed video uploaded to the internet shows Ennahda leader Rachid Ghanouchi urging Salafis to freely move and spread their message to combat secularists control of the economy, military, and media. Ghanouchi’s office verified the video but said that he was merely urging Salafis to participate in public life and abandon violence. | Al-Hayat

The head of Ennahda’s political office, Amer Al-Areed, revealed that Ennahda is in talks with 20 parties in an attempt to broaden the ruling coalition for the temporary government. | Asharq Al-Awsat

The Salafist Reform Front Party warned against using Ben Ali-era anti-terrorism legislation to crack down on salafist militants. Some thirty Tunisians will be tried under anti-terrorism laws for recruiting and inciting to jihad in Syria. | Magharebia

OCTOBER 9

Tunisia expects to cut its budget deficit to below 6 percent of GDP and achieve a growth rate of 4.5 percent in 2013 as economic growth accelerates. | Reuters

Tunisian authorities say 49 policemen were injured when protesters clashed with security forces over the reopening of a trash dump on the island of Djerba. Demonstrations over unemployment and a poor economy have flared around the country over the past week, especially in the impoverished interior. | AP

OCTOBER 4

President Marzouki extended the state of emergency by one month as of October, 1, 2012 to bolster security around diplomatic missions after deadly violence last month, the president's office said on Thursday. | TAP

Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali pledged to guarantee press freedoms and resolve the heightened tensions between his government and the media during a meeting with the International Federation of Journalists in Brussels. | AFP

OCTOBER 3

The EU and Tunisia have signed two financing agreements worth a total of €37 million in the field of support to the judiciary and health care for disadvantaged regions, to address the need to create an independent, impartial’ and modern justice system and the need to tackle economic and social imbalances within Tunisia. | ENPI

President Marzouki announced after attending the third Summit of South American-Arab Countries that Tunisia will sign a partnership agreement with the Southern Common Market Mercosur. | TAP

Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali addressed in Brussels the members of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Commission to call on them to support Tunisia’s efforts to recover stolen assets and to help Tunisia by converting its debts into development projects. | TAP

OCTOBER 2

Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki said that Islamist militants are shifting their focus to Arab North Africa and stepping up violence in the region. He added that Tunisia’s hardline Salafis had links to al-Qaeda and that North African countries would work before the end of the year to form a united front against the threat of rising Islamist militancy. | Al-Hayat

Hundreds of people demonstrated in central Tunisia on Monday against the government’s failure to improve living conditions, as teachers went on strike to denounce the arrest of protesters. | Daily Nation

OCTOBER 1

Supporters of the Tunisian opposition movement ‘Nida ‘Tounès’ (Call of Tunisia), founded by former Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi, were violently attacked Sunday by ‘factions’ at a meeting scheduled to be held in Kélibia in northern Tunisia. The victims blamed the interior minister and his Islamist Ennahda party. | Afriquejet

The Arab Network for Human Rights Information condemned the shutting down of the website of the “Tunisian Judges Association” and its page on Facebook by authorities due to the association expressing its dissatisfaction with the Tunisian minister of justice. | ANHRI

SEPTEMBER 28

President Moncef Marzouki vowed to crack down on Salafi extremists, saying that his government underestimated the negative impact a small group of hardline Islamists estimated to number 3,000 would have on Tunisia’s ability to attract investors and reform its economy. | Reuters

In a meeting with President Marzouki, European Union Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton reaffirmed her support to grant Tunisia an EU “advanced status” designation. | TAP

SEPTEMBER 27

Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki on Wednesday said his country would support an Arab peacekeeping force in Syria, elaborating that Tunisia has pushed for a peaceful solution, but if force is necessary, it should be an Arab force. | AFP

Tunisian civil society groups expressed outrage after a young woman was accused of indecency on Wednesday by two policemen jailed for raping her, amid criticism of the Islamist-led government on women’s rights. | Al-Jazeera; National

SEPTEMBER 26

The National Syndicate for Tunisian Journalists set October 17 for a nationwide media strike. The Syndicate said its decision came after exhausting all means of communication and negotiation with the government, which they accuse of meddling in media affairs. | TAP

SEPTEMBER 25

President Marzouki will address the UN General Assembly. He will officially present the project of the creation of an International Constitutional Court, which would be a “constitutional instrument to denounce the falsification of elections and serious violations of human rights.” | TAP

Standard and Poor's says the Tunisian economy faces “very high risk” with an economic risks score of eight. The economic risk score of eight reflects that Tunisia faces “very high risk” in “economic resilience,” “intermediate risk” in “economic imbalances,” and “extremely high risk” in ”credit risk in the economy.” | Al Bawaba

SEPTEMBER 21

Rached Ghannouchi said that authorities will crack down on hardline Salafis after deadly violence around the US embassy, saying they pose a threat to the country's freedoms and security. | AFP

Tunisia's government has banned protests Friday against a French satirical weekly's publication of crude caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. | AP

Tunisia’s Interior Minister Ali Larayedh dismissed calls to resign on Wednesday September 19 following criticism from parliamentarians over deadly Islamist protests. | Magharebia

SEPTEMBER 20

The National Constituent Assembly (NCA) held a plenary session to question the Ministry of the Interior’s performance during the recent U.S. embassy attack. Outside the NCA, around a hundred protesters gathered to voice their disapproval of the interior minister. | Tunisia Live

The Tunisian Ministry of Religious Affairs issued a statement warning those who disseminate hateful messages throughout mosques against the state, saying that it had identified those responsible for exploiting last week’s embassy events and will bring them to justice. | TAP

SEPTEMBER 19

French schools in Tunisia have been temporarily closed and the country's embassy there has requested extra security after a French weekly published cartoons of a naked Prophet Mohammed. | AFP

Tunisian media slammed the authorities’ failure to arrest the head of a Salafist group, wanted over Friday's deadly unrest at the U.S. embassy, the day after he preached a provocative sermon at a mosque in Tunis. | AFP

Tunisia will cover the physical damage done to both the U.S. Embassy and the American Cooperative School in Tunis, following incidences of vandalism and arson at both facilities last Friday. | Tunisia Live

SEPTEMBER 18

Salafi leader and suspected head of the Tunisian Ansar al-Shariah, Seif-Allah Ben Hassine, who was blamed for encouraging last week's violent protests outside the U.S. Embassy in Tunisia, fled through a police cordon surrounding one of the capital's main mosques on Monday. | AP

European Investment Bank deputy president Philippe De Fontaine announced that his organization will provide the Tunisian banking sector with a credit line on his upcoming trip to Tunisia next December. | TAP

SEPTEMBER 17

During a phone call with secretary Clinton, Foreign Minister Rafik Abdessalam reiterated Tunisia’s condemnation of the recent wave of attacks against the American embassy and an American school in Tunis. | TAP

The U.S. Department of State issued a travel warning to U.S. citizens traveling to Tunisia and began evacuation of all non-essential embassy personnel. | TAP

SEPTEMBER 14

Salafis stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tunis and brought down and burned the American flag, setting fires inside the embassy compound. Security forces fired tear gas and live ammunition in the air in an attempt to disperse the crowds. | TAP; Tunisia-Live
 

SEPTEMBER 13

Tunisian police fired teargas and rubber bullets into the air on Wednesday to disperse a protest in front of the U.S. Embassy in Tunis over a U.S.-made film depicting the Prophet Mohammad. | Reuters; RFERL; TAP

Tunisia’s Investment and International cooperation minister said that his country expects the U.S. government to guarantee around a fifth of the $2.2 billion to $2.5 billion the North African state will need to borrow next year. | Reuters

Tunisia's Foreign Minister Rafik Abdessalem is in Rome for talks on the problem of illegal migration across the Mediterranean, a week after dozens died when their boat sank off Italy's coast. | TAP

SEPTEMBER 12

The president of Tunisia's Organization Against Torture said that dozens of prisoners had been tortured in Tunisia since last year’s uprising. | Reuters

Journalists and technicians have gone on strike at the Dar Assabah group, Tunisia’s oldest newspaper publisher. The journalists claim the new director is compromising the independence of its publications. | Washington Post

SEPTEMBER 11

The Ministry of Interior said that four police officers have been detained for allegedly torturing a suspect, Abd Raouf Kammassi, who later died from his injuries. The death of Kammassi is the first of its kind since the ouster of former president Ben Ali. | AP; Reuters

President Marzouki announced in Qatar that Tunisia will formally present the United Nations with a request to set up an “International Constitutional Court” for human rights organizations and opposition forces under dictatorships. | TAP

Qatar has ordered the expulsion of the son-in-law of ousted Tunisian president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, who had fled to the Gulf Arab state during the Tunisian uprising. | Reuters

SEPTEMBER 10

As the first anniversary of the election of Tunisia’s National Constituent Assembly approaches, questions concerning the continued legitimacy of the Assembly have reverberated throughout Tunisian society. | Tunisia Live

Protesters took to the streets in the impoverished western Tunisian town of Kasserine on Saturday, reigniting tensions in one of the key sites of the 2011 uprising. The protesters demanded work, justice and compensation for those injured and the families of those killed during the Tunisian uprising in January 2011. | Middle East Online

SEPTEMBER 6

The Tunisian Ministry of Human Rights and Transitional Justice, the United Nations Development Program, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights signed a cooperation agreement that would finance training programs and human rights workshops for the Tunisian government. | TAP

SEPTEMBER 5

The National Tunisian Journalists' Union (SNJT) and the General Union of Culture and Information (SGCI) announced that they temporarily suspended dialogue with the government to protest recent appointments to Tunisia’s public channels. | TAP

Tunisia did not rank on the Global Competitiveness Report rankings by the World Economic Forum of Davos for 2012 and 2013, after it was ranked number 40 out of 142 for 2011-2012. | TAP

Tunisia’s new government is considering creating a national authority to combat torture and inhumane treatment of citizens, and to align Tunisian laws and legislation with international conventions and protocols. | TAP

SEPTEMBER 4

The Constituent Assembly announced an adoption of a new timetable that would have them present the proposed constitution for a vote by at most October 23, 2012. | TAP

Tunisia’s Minister of Industry has announced its plans to convert 30 percent of its energy use to renewable solar and wind powered energy sources by 2030. | TAP

Salafis raided the last working bar in the central Tunisian town of Sidi Bouzid on Monday, smashing bottles and chasing away customers. Around fifty Salafis burst into the bar in the Hotel Horchani in the centre of town. | TAP; France 24

AUGUST 30

Sami Fehri, the head of the TV channel Ettounsiya which aired a controversial satirical show criticizing the government, turned himself in on Thursday to the Tunisian attorney general’s office under an arrest warrant. | TAP; AFP

Tunisia’s central bank raised its key interest rate by 3.75 percent on Wednesday to fight rising inflation, as the economy gradually recovers from last year’s political turmoil. | Reuters

Resources collected from assets seized by the Tunisian government following last year’s revolution, which total nearly $750 million, will be integrated into the budget to fund development projects across the country. | TAP

AUGUST 29

Investments reported in regional development areas across Tunisia’s governorates fell 13.9 percent during the first seven months of 2012. | TAP

Reporters Without Borders slammed the restrictions imposed by the Islamist government on state media and noted the 'urgent need' for reform during a meeting with government officials, which included two political advisors to Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali. | Al-Ahram

AUGUST 28

Reporters Without Borders said that it was disturbed by the procedural violations and haste by the Tunis criminal court that ordered the detention of Sami Fehri, the head of Attounissia TV, and the group called on the courts to give Fehri a fair trial, free of political interference. | Reporters Without Borders

The Tunisian Interior Ministry announced the decision of interim Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali to appoint four new governors and reshuffle two others. | TAP

A French customs official denied that top Ennahda adviser Belgacem Ferchichi was taken into custody at Paris-Orly airport on suspicion of money smuggling, bringing into question the credibility of accusations against the Ennahda adviser made online and in the Tunisian media. | Tunisia-Live

AUGUST 27

The speaker of the National Constituent Assembly, Mostafa Ben Jaafar, said that the new Tunisian constitution will be modern, progressive, and will perfectly entrench equality between men and women. This message comes after weeks of controversy with seculars accusing Islamists of wishing to draft a constitution that would limit personal freedoms. | TAP

Mohamed Abbou has been elected as the new secretary general of the center-left Congress for the Republic (CPR) party. The party was a member of the tripartite coalition government of last November. | Tunisia Live

The Tunisian Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Reza Baltayyib, said that foreign direct investments recorded an increase of 44.9% compared with the same period of the year 2011. | MENA-FN

AUGUST 24

Hundreds of suspected Salafi militants attacked the central Tunisia district of Sidi Bouzid overnight, wounding at least seven people, in retaliation for a string of attacks instigated by their insistence to punish a drunken local per Sharia Law. Police did not intervene in fear of “aggravating the situation.” | AFP

A mob on Thursday attacked a police station in the central Sfax region following a conflict with representatives of the ruling Islamist party Ennahda. The demonstrators demanded the release of three people arrested following a clash on Wednesday with Ennahda members accused of trying to take control of a local association. | Al-Ahram

AUGUST 23

Dozens of journalists protested in Tunis on Wednesday, accusing the Islamist-led government of seeking to take control of the Dar Assabah press group, after the appointment of a controversial new director alleged to be a propagandist and too close to Ennahda. | Middle East Online

Franco-Tunisian politician Jamel Gharbi warned European tourists against visiting Tunisia, in order to avoid “Islamist mobs” after he narrowly escaped an alleged "lynching" when he returned to his native town for a family holiday in Tunisia. | Telegraph

AUGUST 22

Human Rights Watch called on Tunisia’s military prosecutor to immediately drop charges and lift the travel ban against Ayoub Massoudi, former adviser to President Moncef Marzouki, for criticizing the country’s armed forces. | Human Rights Watch

The Tunisian Culture Ministry condemned the latest attacks perpetrated by Salafis at El Aqsa Festival in Bizerte and the proliferation of attacks on cultural events across the country, describing them as a "dangerous drift." | TAP

AUGUST 21

The United Nations Working Group on discrimination against women in law and in practice called on the Tunisian Government to safeguard the country's achievements in equality, in light of controversial regressive amendments proposed by the Tunisian constituent assembly. | UN News Centre

A Tunisian civil society group will hold a preliminary reading of the first draft of the proposed constitution. Members from civil society groups and other experts will have the opportunity to offer criticisms and suggestions, in order to continue the drafting process that started in February 2012. | TAP

AUGUST 20

Families of those killed during last year’s uprising in Degueche, Tozeur began an open sit-in outside the military court of Sfax, calling for a speedy and separate trial of the accused killers. A trial date has not been set yet since the case is combined with that of former president Ben Ali. | TAP

AUGUST 16

Tunisia’s economy reported an export increase of 3.7 percent and an increase in imports of 14.6 percent in the first seven months of 2012; a change from $346.2 million in the same period in 2011. | TAP

AUGUST 14

Thousands of Tunisians protested against Islamist-backed changes to the constitution, which they say will endanger women’s rights. The protest was the biggest show of opposition force since April. | France 24; Euro News

Hundreds demonstrated against Tunisia’s ruling Islamist party during a general strike Tuesday in Sidi Bouzid, the birthplace of the 2011 uprising. The protesters included members of the political opposition and trade unions, as well as civil society groups and employer organizations. | AFP

The head of the constitutional drafting committee said that Tunisia's Tunisia’s new constitution will not be adopted before February 2013, as opposed to the October deadline previously promised. | AFP

AUGUST 13

The Tunisian General labor Union branch of Sidi Bouzid announced a general strike and a rally planned for Tuesday, August 14. The strike will demand the release of protestors arrested last Thursday, and it will call for better economic development in the region. | Tunisia Live

President Marzouki hosted a group of civil society members from Sidi Bouzid to address the recent increase in violent protests in that city. | Tunisia Live

The Tunisian government has agreed to increase salaries in the public sector as demanded by the Tunisian General Labor Union. Current legislation would be revised to include the raise in salaries by providing a 70 dinar pay increase for public sector employees. | Tunisia Live

AUGUST 10

Tunisia is seeking a $1 billion loan from foreign donors, including the World Bank and the European Union in order to finance the budget after the deficit in the first half of 2012 reached 4.8 percent of GDP, and with the likelihood that the official deficit forecast that estimates 6.6 percent of GDP over the year will be surpassed. | EU Business

Five people, including two Tunisian journalists, were wounded in the city of Sidi Bouzid as violent protests over shortages and political grievances continue. | TAP; France 24

AUGUST 9

The Tunisian police fired warning shots and tear gas to disperse a demonstration demanding the resignation of the Islamist-led government in the central Tunisian town of Sidi Bouzid. | Al-Ahram; AFP; TAP

Amnesty International is warning of a crackdown on freedom of expression in Tunisia after the arrest of two journalists who are being charged with alcohol and “moral” offenses. | Amnesty International

AUGUST 8

The European Commission has adopted a new €12 million project to reduce inequalities in access to healthcare in the thirteen most disadvantaged regions in southern and western Tunisia; these regions account for forty percent of Tunisia's population. | European Commission

AUGUST 7

The IMF said that Tunisia avoided a macro-economic destabilization despite the negative impacts and exogenous shocks of the political transition. Growth estimates for this year are now 2.7 percent instead of 2.2 percent. | Tunisian News Agency

AUGUST 6

Human Rights Watch calls on Tunisia’s elected National Constituent Assembly (NCA) to urgently address flaws in a draft law that would allow for continued arbitrary infringement of judicial independence. | Human Rights Watch

Tunisian politicians have provoked outrage by debating draft laws that would impose prison sentences for vaguely defined acts of blasphemy and approving wording in the country's new constitution that says women are "complementary" to men. | National

AUGUST 2

After days of discussions concerning the establishment of an independent commission to oversee Tunisia’s judiciary apparatus, members of the Constituent Assembly finally reached agreement on a plan of action: to send the proposed bill under debate back to the drafting committee for further review. | Tunisia Live

The Ministry of Health claimed to have evidence of over thirty instances of corruption among UGTT members in the Hedi Chaker hospital in Sfax. | Tunisia Live

AUGUST 1

Tunisia is extending a state of emergency that was first called during street unrest after the fall of the North African nation’s longtime autocratic leader eighteen months ago. | Washington Post

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Washington was ready to help Tunisia develop its capacities to combat al-Qaeda, and urged closer regional cooperation in fighting the terror network. | Middle East Online

JULY 31

Chedly Ayari, the newly appointed governor of the Tunsian Central Bank, met with President Moncef Marzouki to present the bank’s report on the state of the economy. | Tunisia Live

The inclusion of veiled girls and women wearing the niqab on an animated television show for children, which aired on Tunisia’s state-run Al Wataniya 2 channel during Ramadan, has sparked a heated debate on Facebook concerning the veil within Tunisian society. | Tunisia Live

During the plenary session held yesterday at the Tunisian Constituent Assembly, members discussed a legal proposal for the creation of a new independent provisional commission that would monitor Tunisia’s justice sector. | Tunisia Live

JULY 30

Tunisia's Finance Minister Hussein Dimassi resigned over differences with the Islamist-led government, adding to concerns about the fate of a political transition in the north African country. | Reuters

Tunisia’s economy is slowly climbing out of a deep recession that saw it shrink by 2 percent in 2011. | AP

JULY 26

Police fired warning shots and tear gas to disperse protesters who attacked provincial government headquarters in Sidi Bouzid. | AFP

JULY 25

Tunisian President Marzouki has pardoned 1,300 prisoners to mark national day. | AFP

JULY 24

Tunisia’s parliament has approved the appointment of Chadli Ayari as central bank governor. | Bloomberg

Moody’s Investor Services have downgraded Tunisia’s sovereign credit rating to Baa3,
which reflects uncertainty in the country’s business and investment sectors. | Tunisia Live

JULY 23

Jebali’s political affairs adviser has denied that the Tunisian prime minister called for the postponement of the country’s next elections. | Tunisia Live

JULY 18

The ultraconservative Islamist group Hizb-ut-Tahrir will soon become a recognized political entity in Tunisia, according to sources within the party. | Tunisia Live

JULY 17

Tunisia’s Constituent Assembly is expected to endorse a presidential decision to fire the central bank governor and will likely name former minister Chadli Ayari in his place. | Reuters

JULY 16

Rached Ghannouci has been reelected to serve as the head of Ennahda Party in Tunisia. | Tunisia Live

Tunisian President Marzouki has signed three agreements at the African Union Summit to further integrate his country in the affairs of the continent. | Tunisia Live

JULY 14

The mother of Bouazizi, the man whose self-immolation sparked Tunisia’s revolution, is in custody for insulting an official. | AFP

JULY 13

Ahmed Najib Chebbi, a member of the Republican Party – a coalition between a number of prominent opposition parties, the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP), and Afek Tounes – claimed that he was physically assaulted by a group of “Salafists” in the northwestern governorate of Jendouba. | Tunisia Live

Hizb-ut-Tahrir, an Islamist party with branches throughout the Middle East, has been rejected for a visa to operate in Tunisia for the second time. | Tunisia Live

JULY 12

Tunisia's ruling Islamist Ennahda party is set to re-elect its leader Rachid Ghannouchi at its first public congress this week, as part of an effort to shore up its moderate credentials and ease a long-running standoff over the role of Islam in politics. Analysts and party members told Reuters that Ghannouchi was widely expected to keep his post given his long history in the movement and his ability to bridge the gap between its moderate and hardline wings. | Reuters

JULY 11

The appointment of the president has become an increasingly divisive and partisan issue, as two parties within Tunisia’s governing tripartite coalition, Ennahdha and Congress for the Republic (CPR), have proposed opposing plans. | Tunisia Live

Tunisia’s eminent communist political party, the Tunisian Communist Workers Party (POCT), has officially changed its name to Tunisian Workers Party (POT). POT decided to omit the word “communist” from their title following a series of discussions that have been ongoing since February that concluded with a general referendum within the party. | Tunisia Live

JULY 10

Operating under the slogan, “Sharia is our path, and reform is our option,” Tunisia’s Salafi Reform Front party held its first conference this Sunday in Tunis’ Palais des Congres. | Tunisia Live

According to the findings of the 2012 Happy Planet Index, Tunisia is currently ranked the second happiest country in Africa, and 39th among the 151 countries surveyed. | Tunisia Live

JULY 9

Secretary General of the Tunisian General Labor Union (UGTT) Houcine Abbassi noted that remnants of the former ruling RCD Party should be excluded from the political scene but in a rational way which does not prevent a third of the Tunisian population from participating in politics. | Tunisia Live

Amor Chtioui, a representative of the Congress for the Republic (CPR) and head of the Legislative and Executive Committee, stated that the CPR, Ettakatol, and the Democratic blocs in the Assembly opt for a semi-presidential regime, as opposed to a parliamentary one. Ennahda is pushing for a parliamentary regime saying that it is the only system that separates and limits powers. The constituent assembly will decide the type of democracy required for Tunisia by July 25. | Tunisia Live

Ennahda holds its first party congress since 1988 on July 12. There will be 1,103 delegates at the conference representing 58,741 members who will elect a new structure for the party. | Leaders

JULY 5

The motion to introduce a vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali was rendered void, the office of the National Constituent Assembly announced yesterday. | Tunisia Live

JULY 3

Tunisian Foreign Affairs Rafik Abdessalam stated that diplomatic passports will be issued for the heads of political parties represented in the Tunisian Constituent Assembly. Amid allegations of nepotism, Abdessalam explained that the provision of a diplomatic passport to his father-in-law, Rachid Ghannouchi, was the product of a previously ratified presidential decree. | Tunisia Live

Rachid Ghannouchi, head of Ennahda, said that the differences between members of the Troika are on their way to being solved through consultation mechanisms of the Troika. He noted that differences are normal between partners in a coalition. | Tunisia Agency Press

Tunisian President Moncef al-Marzouki met with all of the heads of parties in the constituent assembly today to discuss the coming agenda. | Tunisia Agency Press

JULY 2

The prime minister's office says Tunisia's Central Bank chief will remain in office despite an effort by the president to fire him, amid mounting tensions in the country's leadership. Ridha Saidi, the deputy prime minister for economic affairs, told the Associated Press in an interview that the president did not have the requisite support of the prime minister to fire Mustapha Kamel Nabli. | Associated Press; Reuters

Tunisian Deputy Prime Minister for Administrative Reform Mohammed Abbou announced his resignation today during a press conference at the office of the Congress for the Republic Party. He gave complaints about corruption as his stated reason for leaving. | Global Post

JUNE 29

U.S. Under Secretary of State Robert Hormats on Thursday talked up Tunisia as an investment destination for U.S. firms and said the United States was supporting a conference in September to locate loot stolen by former dictators of Arab Spring countries. | Reuters

JUNE 28

During a meeting held yesterday, the cabinet of the ministerial council amended Decree No. 97, which deals with compensation to the victims of Tunisia’s revolution. | Tunisia Live

Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki met with residents of the governorate of Gafsa on Thursday to discuss government investment and address the economic and social concerns of the region’s inhabitants, according to TAP. | Tunisia Live

JUNE 27

Tunisian parliamentarians are pushing for a no-confidence vote in the Islamist-led government, whose divisive decision to extradite Moammar Qaddafi's prime minister has sparked the country's deepest political crisis since last year's elections. | Reuters

Tunisia’s president fired Central Bank Governor Mustapha Kamel Nabil, citing conflict between his monetary policies and the government’s economic program, the president’s office stated Wednesday. Governor Mustapha Kamel Nabli, a World Bank economist, had led the central bank since the overthrow of the dictatorship in January 2011 and was known to pursue a very independent policy from the government. | Washington Post

Tunisian President Moncef al-Marzouki refused to sign two laws passed by the constituent assembly related to increasing funds allowed to be borrowed from the International Monetary Fund. | al-Arab Online

JUNE 26

Tunisia’s secular president Moncef al-Marzouki has rebuked the Islamist prime minister for allowing a close associate of late Libyan dictator Moammar Qaddafi to be extradited to Libya, prompting fears Monday of a split in the ruling coalition. | Boston Globe

JUNE 25

Following the controversy accompanying the Printemps des Arts exhibition in the Palais Abdellia, located in Tunisia’s suburb of La Marsa, as well as the subsequent response from several Tunisian imams, the government has taken a stronger role in monitoring mosque activity to prevent further controversy. | Tunisia Live

Tunisian President Moncef al-Marzouki engaged in a battle of words with Prime Minister Hamdi Jebali over the extradition of former Libyan Prime Minister Baghdadi Mahmoudi, with Marzouki calling the extradition "illegal and illegitimate." | Tunisia Live

General elections in Tunisia should be held as soon as possible, "maybe before March", Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali said Sunday. He said he hoped the new constitution would be done by October. | AFP

JUNE 22

Houcine Laabidi, the chairman of the Zitouna Mosque Scientific Committee, condemned the artwork at the Printemps des Arts Abdellia as “blasphemous” yesterday saying those who created the art should be put to death. The Ministry of Religious Affairs condemned his comments. | Tunisia Live

JUNE 21

"Liberty, Dignity, Justice, Order”may become the new motto on the Tunisian coat of arms. | Tunisia Live

Tunisia's military has destroyed three trucks believed to be transporting weapons from Libya to Algeria, the official TAP news agency reported on Thursday, highlighting growing concerns over border security following the Arab Spring. | Reuters

JUNE 20

President of the Committee on Constitutional Proceedings Jamel Touir called for increased observation of Tunisian media. Touir proposed the establishment of an independent commission that would be charged with verifying information that passes through websites like Facebook and Twitter. | Tunisia Live

Tunisia's chief prosecutor issued an arrest warrant Tuesday for a man believed to be behind last week's unrest that rocked the country. Justice Ministry Spokesman Mondher Bendhiafi told the Associated Press that "the prosecutor of the Republic decided to arrest Mohammed Ali Bouaziz for attempting to disrupt public order." | AP

JUNE 19

The Tunisian consulate in Benghazi, Libya was attacked by members of Ansar al-Shariaa – or “the supporters of Sharia law.” | Tunisia Live

JUNE 18

Tunisia’s former interim Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi announced on Saturday the creation of a new political movement called “Nedaa Tunis,” or “The Call for Tunisia” party. | Tunisia Live

JUNE 14

Rached Ghannouchi, leader of the center-right Islamist Ennahdha party, called upon Tunisians to protest on Friday to “protect the revolution and things considered sacred”. Ghannouchi blamed former elements of Ben Ali’s RCD party for creating provocative art against religion and for starting clashes with Salafis. | Tunisia Live

In the wake of several calls to protest from Tunisian Islamist leaders, the Ministry of the Interior released a statement early this afternoon announcing that it had not authorized any march on Friday, June 15. | Tunisia Live

JUNE 13

A spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior Khaled Tarrouche described the Salafist riots as “terrorist acts,” and stressed that if events continued to escalate, the police would be authorized to use live ammunition against the rioters. | AFP

Rached Ghannouchi declared that the riots had nothing to do with Sunday’s call for Tunisians to rise up against the coalition government by the leader of al-Qaeda, Ayman Al-Zawahiri. | Tunisia Live

A Tunisian military court on Wednesday convicted the former president in absentia of inciting violence and sentenced him to 20 years in prison. It is Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's first conviction by a military court. | AP

JUNE 12

Tunisia's government Tuesday condemned as "terrorism" a spate of overnight attacks on courts and other state buildings by gangs including Islamist hardliners and vowed to punish them. The ultra-conservative Salafists denied involvement in the rampage in several areas of the capital Tunis and in the country's northwest, and instead called a protest after this week's Friday prayers. | AFP

Hundreds of Salafi Islamists, angered by an art exhibition they say insults Muslims, clashed with police in Tunis on Tuesday, raising religious tensions in the home of the Arab Spring and piling pressure on the moderate Islamist government. | Reuters

JUNE 11

Two Libyan operatives of Al Qaida’s North African wing were sentenced to 20 years in prison by a Tunisian military court Saturday for the murder of two army officers last year, their lawyer said. | Gulf News

In an audio recording attributed to Ayman al-Zawahri and released on Islamist websites, the Qaeda leader said Tunisia's Islamist Ennahda party, which rules with secular parties, had betrayed itself and the religion. | Reuters

JUNE 7

The President of Ennahda, Rachid Ghannouchi, has declared that he does not wish to stand for elections in the party’s next organizational meeting to be held from July 12th -15th. | Tunisia Live

The International Crisis Group has warned that Tunisia's government has been unable to address the desperate economic situation that helped spark the popular uprising last year, adding that there is a risk of new social explosions. | Jewish Telegraphic Agency

JUNE 6

The Constituent Assembly subcommittee charged with drafting the preamble to Tunisia’s new constitution presented the final product of their efforts, following months of deliberation and heated debate. | Tunisia Live

Members of the National Constituent Assembly's Committee on Legislative and Executive Power and the National Council on Tunisia's Jewish Citizens favor a proposal to designate two seats in the Parliament to Jewish members. | Jewish Telegraphic Agency

JUNE 5

Tunisia's inflation rate was expected to be 4 percent this year, Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali said on Tuesday. | Reuters

JUNE 4

Beji Caid Essebsi, the former interim prime minister who led the country through its difficult transition after the fall of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, is about to announce the formation of a new political party. The new party will attract seculars but not be against Ennahda. | Ansamed

Rachid Ghannouchi lamented Saturday the widening divisions and lack of national dialogue in the post-revolutionary country's social fabric. | AFP

In a recent interview with Tunisian television, Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali launched a flurry of criticism targeting labor unions, the media, the judiciary, the Salafists, law enforcement, the central bank and even the S&P. | al-Monitor

JUNE 1

The next Tunisian general elections will take place around March 20-21, 2013, according to Prime Minister Jebali. | News 24

MAY 31

Tunisia’s prime minister has warned that Islamists who have been attacking police stations and liquor stores will be punished. | Ahram Online

The subcommittee responsible for drafting Tunisia’s preamble has completed the first draft of the document. | Tunisia Live

MAY 30

The Tunisian Judges Union has initiated a judicial strike in protest of the decision by the Minister of Justice to fire 81 judges. | Tunisia Live

MAY 29

The office of Tunisian news station Al Hiwar Attounsi has been attacked and vandalized in what was an alleged response to a report aired on the station which covered recent incidents involving Salafis. | Tunisia Live

The Tunisian Justice Ministry has sacked 81 magistrates over suspicions of graft and their links to the ousted regime of President Ben Ali. | AFP

Hundreds of Salafis have clashed with security forces and attacked a police station in Jendouba after a protest against the arrest of four in connection with recent attacks on liquor vendors. | BBC

MAY 25

A protest in the northwest Tunisian city of Kef turned violent Thursday, leaving 15 injured, as a strong police cordon in Tunis held another demonstration by unemployed university graduates at bay. | AFP

Tunisia's struggle to rebound from revolutionary turmoil last year is likely to become even tougher after Standard & Poor's cut the country's sovereign credit rating to junk. | National

MAY 24

Tunisia said on Thursday its economy grew 4.8 percent in the first quarter compared to the same period in 2011, when weeks of protests ousted veteran leader Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali and hit the economy. | Reuters

Yesterday, the general prosecutor of the first instance military court in the region of Kef demanded the death penalty for Tunisia’s former dictator Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali. | Tunisia Live

MAY 23

Tunisia plans to issue $300 million to $350 million in debt guaranteed by the U.S. government in July, a finance ministry official said on Wednesday, as it taps international debt markets for the first time in five years. | al-Ahram

Tunisian Justice Minister Nouredine Bouheri has said that former President Ben Ali is still using private smuggling networks. President Moncef al-Marzouki noted that he does not believe Ben Ali will ever be extradited from Saudi Arabia. | France 24

MAY 22

Tunisia will extradite former Libyan leader Moammar Qaddafi’s prime minister to Libya and the handover could take place in “days or weeks”, Tunisia’s Justice Minister Noureddine Bouheiri said on Tuesday. | Tunisia Live

In a communiqué issued yesterday, Mohamed Meddeb, the new CEO of the Tunisian Radio Company, the organization in charge of all Tunisian public radio stations, announced his decision to dissolve the editorial boards of member stations. | Tunisia Live

MAY 18

Tunisia’s second largest political party, the Congress for the Republic (CPR) has now formerly splintered, with the new party called the Independent Democratic Congress. | Tunisia Live

Protesters outside Tunisia's parliament sewed their lips together, saying their fight for better healthcare is being ignored by the elected authorities. The group, which includes people injured in last year's revolution that toppled president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, has been protesting for more than a year. | Guardian

MAY 17

Tunisian Prime Minister Hamdi Jebali requested international funding for development projects of up to $78 billion during the opening session of the international forum for development projects in Tunisia today. | Al-Mubasher

Tunisian President Moncef al-Marzouki has said that his government is keen to establish strong ties with Saudi Arabia especially in areas of investment. | Al-Mubasher

About 1.6 million youths will enter Tunisia's labor force over the next decade and private education providers could help many of these young people find rewarding, well-paying jobs, according to a new study by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group. | All Africa

MAY 16

Qatar has revived plans to build a $2 billion oil refinery in Tunisia after years of delays, Qatari and Tunisian officials said yesterday, expanding the North African country’s refining capacity more than four-fold. | Peninsula Qatar

MAY 15

The head of Tunisia’s first licensed Salafi party said today the group was intent on showing that democracy and strict adherence to Islam could co-exist in the secular nation that gave birth to the so-called Arab Spring uprisings. | Bloomberg

Islamists from Tunisia are traveling to Syria as jihadists to fight against the Assad regime. | Reuters

About 50 Tunisian Salafist Muslims protested Tuesday at Tunis-Carthage airport against the expulsion of two radical Moroccan theologians banned from entering the country. | Al-Arabiya

MAY 14

Mohamed Abbou has been elected Secretary-General of the Congress for the Republic party. | Tunisia Live

Tunisia’s Speaker of the Parliament has announced that the country’s new constitution will be ready by October 23. | Reuters

MAY 11

Tunisia's Islamist-led government has granted a license to a political party based on puritanical Salafi Islam for the first time. The Islah Party will be able to contest next year’s parliamentary elections. | Reuters

MAY 10

An independent United Nations expert today urged the Tunisian government to ensure that human rights, especially the right to education, are kept at the heart of the historic reforms taking place. | Tunisia Live

MAY 9

Ennahda’s office was burnt down on Tuesday in Thala, a city located in the northwestern governorate of Kasserine. Ennahda spokesman Nejib Gharbi stated that the party is not accusing any group or individual in connection with the incident. | Tunisia Live

MAY 8

Tunisia has rejected as "interference in Tunisian justice" U.S. complaints that the conviction of a television boss in a blasphemy trial raised new fears over free expression. | Reuters

Qatar's largest telecommunications provider said Monday its Tunisian subsidiary has won licenses to operate fixed-line and 3G mobile services in Tunisia, boosting the Gulf state's influence in the North African nation. | Associated Press

MAY 7

After promising to meet with the Tunisian Judges Association (ATJ) and discuss the challenges associated with implementing judicial reform, the National Constituent Assembly’s (NCA) legislative subcommittee canceled its previously scheduled meeting, which was due to be held May 2. | Tunisia Live

Tunisia bought 75,000 metric tons of wheat of optional origin, Paris-based farm adviser Agritel said on its website, without saying where it got the information. | Bloomberg

MAY 4

Marking World Press Freedom Day, the Union of Tunisian Journalists issued an annual report for 2012 today, concerning the current state of Tunisian media, entitled “Reality of Press Freedom in Tunisia.” According to the report, a significant number of Tunisian journalists have been subjected to both physical and verbal abuse by police, politicians, and citizens with official political affiliations. The report stated that incidents of verbal and physical abuse occur, on average, once per week. | Tunisia Live

A Tunisian court on Thursday fined a television boss 2,400 dinars ($1,550) for showing the award winning film "Persepolis" after a trial that deepened a growing divide between Islamists and secularists. | Chicago Tribune

MAY 3

A Tunisian court fined a television boss 2,400 dinars ($1,550) on Thursday for showing a film that includes a scene depicting God, drawing U.S. criticism and highlighting a growing divide between Islamists and secularists. | Reuters

A Tunisian court has jailed two policemen for 20 years each for killing a protester last year, a judicial source said, in the first punishment meted out to security officials over their crackdown on the revolution that ousted Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali. | Reuters

Yusuf Qaradawi will be visiting Tunisia from May 3 to 9. He will be speaking at a rally at the stadium of Rades on May 3 to celebrate the occasion of the summit of the Union of Muslim Scholars, hosted for the first time in Tunisia. | Tunisia Live

MAY 2

Two Tunisian policemen were sentenced to 20 years in prison for killing a man at the start of the country’s uprising, the official TAP news agency reported today. | Bloomberg

In the absence of proper border controls after uprisings that ousted autocratic leaders in Tunisia and Libya, smugglers plying unmarked desert routes are becoming ever bolder, and disputes are becoming ever more violent. | Reuters

A verdict in the trial of a Tunisian television station director accused of insulting sacred values for having screened the Franco-Iranian film "Persepolis" is set for Thursday, court sources said. | AFP

MAY 1

The President of Tunisia, Moncef al-Marzouki, has said that Salafis in his country pose a “threat to democracy,” but called on his security forces not to resort to the torture and political suppression that characterized the previous regime. | Al-Akhbar English

Thousands of Tunisians gathered in downtown Tunis today, to celebrate International Workers’ Day. The first celebration began in front of the headquarters of the UGTT–the preeminent labor union in Tunisia–in Mohamed Ali Square. | Tunisia Live

APRIL 27

Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali announced yesterday during the plenary session of the National Constituent Assembly that 6.2 billion dinars will be allocated to regional development – representing a one billion dinar increase from the original budget plan. | Tunisia Live

Tunisia has been offered a US$1 billion (Dh3.67bn) loan from Qatar as the North African country's government seeks to woo investment from the GCC. | National

APRIL 25

Four directors of the national radio announced their resignation yesterday in protest of the government’s dismissal of Habib Belaid, the CEO of the station. | Tunisia Live

Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki has said that his country supports Iran’s right to peaceful use of nuclear energy. Marzouki made the remarks during a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi in Tunis on Tuesday. | Tehran Times

Islamists protesting outside Tunisia’s state television building clashed with its employees, leaving five wounded. | Washington Post

APRIL 24

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will visit Tunisia on April 28. The trip is part of a three-day Arab tour that will take him through Tunisia and Libya. | Tunisia Live

APRIL 23

Foreign Minister Rafik Abdessalem stated that Iran and Tunisia share a similar vision for the resolution of the crisis in Syria noting, “The situation in Syria is extremely sensitive, and needs to be resolved internally.” | Tunisia Live

The International Labor Organization (ILO) signed two agreements with Tunisia in Cairo, Egypt, on Thursday as a part of a joint plan to promote youth employment and social dialogue in Tunisia. | Tunisia Live

APRIL 19

The Association of Tunisian Judges (ATJ) announced that its members will be wearing red armbands today to express their discontent with what they described as “the reluctance and the lack of will from the government to reform the judiciary.” | Tunisia Live

Tensions were high this morning before the courthouse in Tunis where a hearing is being held for the director of Nessma TV, Kabil Kaorui who is accused of having aired the film Persepolis last October during the electoral campaign for the constituent assembly. The film in question is considered to be blasphemous. | Anasmed

APRIL 18

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi is scheduled to travel to Tunisia on April 23 to hold talks with the country’s officials. “God willing, I will travel to the country next Monday,” Salehi told reporters after a cabinet meeting on Wednesday. | Tehran Times

The annual Jewish pilgrimage to the Tunisian island of Djerba should be maintained as a symbol of the North African nation's openness to the world, Tunisia's tourism minister said Tuesday. | Fox News

APRIL 17

Armed Libyans have kidnapped 80 Tunisians in the border zone between the two countries, Tunisia’s foreign ministry said Tuesday, ten days after a similar incident in the same area. | Al-Arabiya

APRIL 16

Clashes erupted between civilians and the police for the second time this weekend in Om Laarayes, a small town in the governorate of Gafsa, in southern Tunisia on Sunday after the announcement of job offers at the Phosphate Company of Gafsa yesterday, which left many young locals jobless. | Tunisia Live

APRIL 13

Concerns about the security of the websites of Tunisian interim government ministries have increased, especially after recent breaches. Recent cyber-attacks have targeted the Tunisian prime minister’s email account and the official website of the Ministry of Justice. | Tunisia Live

Tunisian journalists walked out of the country's Constituent Assembly Thursday as Interior Minister Ali Larayedh defended a police crackdown, widely branded as brutal, on a banned rally. Larayedh denounced "parts of the media" for having "added fuel to the flames" of a demonstration Monday on Tunis' central Bourguiba avenue which was off limits for protesters since March 28. | AFP

APRIL 12

In a challenge to the authority of the Ministry of the Interior, the Tunisian General Labor Union (UGTT) declared that May 1st celebrations will be held on Habib Bourguiba Avenue, defying a ban on organizing protests on the street. | Tunisia Live

According to a poll released by SIGMA Conseil, 61.5 % of Tunisians are dissatisfied with the employment policy of the government. | Tunisia Live

APRIL 11

Several political and civil society figures have expressed their indignation at the violent handling of yesterday’s protest on Habib Bourguiba Avenue. The Ministry of Interior released a statement describing the protests as a deliberate violation of the demonstration ban. | Tunisia Live

APRIL 10

Violent confrontations between police and protesters in Tunis on the occasion of Martyrs’ Day have sparked a number of protests in several cities. | Tunisia Live
 

APRIL 9

Tunisian police have fired tear gas and used electric batons to disperse a rally of thousandswhich had gathered to commemorate Martyrs’ Day. | Bloomberg

Tunisian opposition groups have convened to announce the merger of three centrist democratic parties: the Domestic Progressive Party, Afek Tounes, and the Republican Party. | Tunisia Live

APRIL 6

A court has sentenced two men to seven years in prison for charges related to the posting of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad on Facebook. | Tunisia Live

APRIL 4

Tunisia has re-opened the Zaitouna Mosque, one of the world's leading centers of Islamic learning, which was closed by independence leader and secularist strongman Habib Bourguiba in 1964 as part of an effort to curb the influence of religion. It is hoped that the mosque and university will serve as a moderating influence against Salafi and extremist currents which are growing in the country. | Reuters

Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali on Tuesday unveiled an "ambitious" budget which aims to boost economic growth and slash high unemployment rates in the North African country. | AP

Senior government officials from the United States and Tunisia met in Tunis to explore steps to enhance trade and investment ties both bilaterally and with other partners in the Middle East and North Africa, according to Assistant U.S. Trade Representative Daniel Mullaney. The assistant trade representative for Europe and the Middle East led the U.S. delegation of economic leaders to the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) Council meeting March 27. | AllAfrica

APRIL 3

Rachid Ghannouchi, leader of Ennahda, has begun talks with Salafis over their concerns regarding Tunisia’s new constitution. Ghannouchi noted that it was better to dialogue with the Salafis in the political process, while reiterating his opposition to sharia law in the county’s constitution saying, “If they aren’t happy then tough. What interests me is what’s good for Tunisia.” | Al Arabiya

Tunisia's parliament speaker Mustafa Ben Jaafar voiced alarm Friday over the deterioration of the security climate in a country increasingly polarized over religion. "What happened threatens national cohesion. Freedom does not mean chaos or rebellion," he said. | Middle East Online

Abd al-Jalil Bedoui, the vice president of the Social Democratic Path, the new centrist political party formed yesterday consisting of Ettajdid, the Tunisian Labor Party, and the Democratic Modern Pole, announced that the discussions are still ongoing with the PDP and that a new party that will unify the major centrist parties will come into light by next May. | Tunisia Live

APRIL 2

On Sunday, April 1, Tunisian Foreign Affairs Minister, Rafik Abedsalem called on the Syrian government to open humanitarian corridors to speed up aid to Syrians in order to ease their suffering, during the second meeting of “Friends of Syria,” held in Istanbul.| Tunisia Live

A new party named the Social Democratic Path (SDP) was created yesterday bringing together Ettajdid Party, the Tunisian Labor Party (TLP) and independents from the Democratic Modernist Pole (PDM). | Tunisia Live

The Tunisian government has decided to extend the current state of emergency in the country until the end of April, according to an official statement released on Saturday evening by a presidential spokesperson. | Tunisia Live

MARCH 30

Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki issued an apology to the Iraqi people for acts of violence carried out by some Tunisian nationals against civilians during the Iraqi war and its aftermath. ”These individuals do not represent the Tunisian people, who wish only wellbeing and joy to Iraq,” he said. | Tunisia Live

Tunisian law, like its Moroccan counterpart, provides the male assailant involved in “statutory rape” against a female minor with the opportunity to escape legal proceedings if he marries his victim. Tunisian law distinguishes statutory rape from forcible rape based on the absence of force or threat. | Tunisia Live

Rached Ghannouchi leader of Ennahda has stated that “sharia has never left Tunisia” and noted that references to Islamic law being the basis of legislation in the constitution were unnecessary. The majority of Ennahda’s party has voted and agreed with this stance. | Business Week

MARCH 29

Today, a conference on open governance, organized by the European Union, the World Bank, and the Tunisian government, began in Tunis. The conference runs until tomorrow and will discuss achieving greater, more transparent access to information in Tunisia. | Tunisia Live

Tunisia's Jewish community said on Wednesday it was making an official complaint over anti-Semitic slogans chanted at a protest demanding the imposition of Islamic law in the country. | IOL News

Efforts to do away with the death penalty in Tunisia, which have grown since the revolution, are being held back by the tenets of Islamic Law, says the head of Amnesty International in Tunisia. | Tunisia Live

MARCH 28

A three-day national conference on how to reform Tunisia’s educational system will kick off tomorrow in the Tunisian capital. Experts in education, members of various civil society organizations and political parties, and a high number of parents will attend the conference. | Tunisia Live

The Association of Tunisian Judges along with the Union of Judges have recently submitted a proposal to the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) for a temporary commission that will regulate the judicial branch and increase independence of the judiciary. | Tunisia Live

MARCH 27

Representatives of Tunisia’s ruling coalition denounced a recent political gathering led by former Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi, saying the meeting was an attempt to pull Tunisia back to the dictatorial practices of the country’s old, undemocratic regime. | Tunisia Live

Yesterday, the Islamist party Ennahda declared on national evening television that it would keep intact Article 1 of the 1959 Tunisian Constitution. | Tunisia Live

MARCH 26

The moderate Islamist Ennahda party, which leads Tunisia's government, will not back calls by conservatives to make Islamic law, or Sharia, the main source of legislation in a new constitution, a senior party official said on Monday. "Ennahda has decided to retain the first clause of the previous constitution without change," Ameur Larayed told Radio Mosaique. "We want the unity of our people and we do not want divisions." | Al-Masry al-Youm

A group of several thousand Salafists and their supporters demonstrated in downtown Tunis today in support of the Qur’an, claiming that it was under threat by more secular elements of Tunisian society. Demonstrators climbed the clock tower of Tunis to fly black caliphate flags from the top of the tower and chanted slogans such as “the people want a new caliphate.” | Tunisia Live

Members of the Tunisian Constituent Assembly expressed differing views over the announcement yesterday by Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali’s spokesman, Lutfi Zaitoun that March 20, 2013 will be the latest date that the next parliamentary elections will be scheduled. | Tunisia Live

MARCH 23

The role of Islamic law in the new Tunisian constitutional was hotly debated by the constituent assembly. Mustafa Ben Jaafar of leader of Ettakatol, one of the parties in the ruling coalition government, noted that unlike the Qur’an, Islamic law has no agreed upon meaning and therefore there was no need to put it in the constitution. Ennahda members are divided between explicitly referring to Islamic law and identity in the constitution, or calling it only one of many sources of legislation.  | Tunisia Live

MARCH 22

The director of the Tunisian Presidential Cabinet, Imed Deymi, confirmed that the Tunisian government has received an invitation from Iraq to the Arab League summit, and that Tunisian decision-makers will participate. | Tunisia Live

On the 56th anniversary of Tunisia's Independence Day, President Moncef Marzouki granted general amnesty to 2,470 Tunisian prisoners. | AllAfrica

MARCH 21

Thousands of secular Tunisians marched in the capital on Tuesday, the country’s independence day, to show their rejection of growing calls by conservative Salafi Islamists to transform post-revolutionary Tunisia into an Islamic state. | Euro News

Several thousand Tunisians gathered on Habib Bourguiba avenue today to celebrate Tunisia’s 56th independence day. Politicians came out to greet supporters and political groups rallied their messages up and down the avenue, which a little more than a year ago was the site of major protests that led to the departure of former Tunisian President Zine El Abddine Ben Ali. | Tunisia Live

MARCH 20

Tunisia is celebrating its Independence Day – the day the country was liberated from its former French colonizer in 1956. | Tunisia Live

Internet activist and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange conducted an interview, via video teleconference, with Tunisian president Moncef Marzouki. | Tunisia Live

MARCH 19

Democratic Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi expressed her worry over the state of women’s rights and media freedom in Tunisia during meetings with Tunisian government officials yesterday, according to an official in the Tunisian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. | Tunisia Live

On Friday, two incidents involving the defamation of mosques in Tunis and the southern town of Ben Guerdane highlighted the increasing divide between Islamists and secularists in Tunisia. The Tunisian president's office issued a warning of attempts to sow division inside the country after these incidents. | Tunisia Live; Daily Star

MARCH 16

The Tunisian Front of Islamic Associations is organizing a protest calling for the implementation of sharia in the new constitution. Entitled, “Friday of Supporting Sharia,” the protest is scheduled to be held tomorrow in front of the National Constituent Assembly after the Friday prayer. | Tunisia Live

MARCH 15

The Tunisian government has set up a working group that will study how to develop Islamic finance in the country, a finance ministry official said. | Reuters

After the arrest of Kais Ben Ali, nephew of former Tunisian President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, the families of martyrs who died in the aftermath of the Tunisian Revolution are calling for revenge. The father of Moez Ben Saleh, a victim of government forces on January 15, 2011, has demanded that Kais Ben Ali be sentenced to death. | Tunisia Live

Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki urged Arabs to rehabilitate their security institutions, insisting on the necessity of "radical, swift and real reforms" as he opened the 29th Arab Interior Ministers' council in Hammamet, Tunisia on Wednesday. Marzouki warned against the current role of security institutions in the Arab world, saying that the only other alternative to reform is more revolutions. | al-Ahram

MARCH 14

Tunisia has secured debt guarantees from the U.S. government that will allow it to tap the international bond markets this year for the first time since 2007. | Reuters

At the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) conference on March 12-13, legal and electoral experts discussed the future framework for Tunisia’s elections. | Tunisia Live

MARCH 13

A sit-in has been ongoing in front of the headquarters of Al Wataniya, the Tunisian national television station, since March 2nd. The protesters, who claim to be unaffiliated with any political party, have declared that they are demonstrating in order to “clear up the television of shame.” | Tunisia Live

The Facebook page of Hizb Ettahrir was hacked by a Tunisian group claiming affiliation with the international cyber activist collective Anonymous. | Tunisia Live

MARCH 12

Said Ferjani a member of Ennahda has noted that his party will protect the freedom of Tunisian women to wear the bikini or the burqa in an interview with the BBC’s Hardtalk. He also noted that his party would not allow private citizens to impose sharia law punishments on others and denied press reports of Islamic corporal punishments being done by vigilante groups in Tunisia. | BBC

Tunisia’s liberal opposition parties voted today in favor of forming a new modern, democratic front uniting several opposition parties. Selma Baccar, a deputy in the National Constituent Assembly and member of the Ettajdid movement, said that the party will start working by the end of April under a new name. “No name or leader has been decided yet, however, we expect it to launch by the end of April after getting a new license,” Baccar announced. | Tunisia Live

MARCH 9

Several thousand women and men, many of whom were draped in Tunisian flags, gathered in front of the Constituent Assembly in Bardo today to demand the recognition and reiteration of the rights and freedoms of women in the new Tunisia. | Tunisia Live

At a conference held yesterday in Paris, Tunisian Minister of Health Khalil Ezzaouia called for the establishment of universal healthcare for all Tunisians. | Tunisia Live

Tunisia’s transition to democracy has put it on track to repeat Turkey’s own success in balancing secular democracy and political Islam, said President Abdullah Gül during a diplomatic visit to Tunisia on Thursday. | Today’s Zaman

MARCH 8

Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki said Tunisia would be willing to send forces to Syria as part of an Arab peacekeeping operation mooted at the first "Friends of Syria" conference, which the North African country hosted last month, but warned against military intervention. | Reuters

Hizb Ettahrir, a legally unrecognized Islamist party, condemns Tunisia’s Code of Personal Status (CPS), and calls for its abolition. Conversely, the Democratic Women’s association calls for developing the code and further reinforcing it. Finally, Constituent Assembly member Jawhara Ettiss defends the CPS for the gains it has imparted on all Tunisian women. | Tunisia Live

MARCH 7

Tourism in Egypt and Tunisia plunged more than 30 percent last year amid the popular upheavals sweeping the Arab world, said Taleb Rifai, secretary general of the United Nations World Tourism Organization. | Bloomberg

Tunisia’s trade deficit more than doubled in the first two months of 2012, from 761.1 million Tunisian dinars (MTD) in February to 632.8 MTD in January, according to the latest figures released Tuesday by the National Institute of Statistics. | African Manager

MARCH 6

Four months after Tunisia’s first freely contested elections, critics of the country’s Islamist-led government are sounding the alarm: Freedom, they charge, and a certain Tunisian “way of life” are under attack. | Bloomberg

Tunisia has cut its economic growth forecast for this year to 3.5 percent, down from a previous forecast of 4.5 percent due to declines in foreign investment and tourism, a finance ministry official said on Tuesday. | al-Arabiyah

Tunisian MPs debated the role of sharia in the new constitution. Sabhi Tabig of Ennahda said that the separation of religion and state was alien to Islam and that the goal of the constitution should be to strengthen Tunisia’s Arab and Islamic identity. Al-Aridha al-Shabia MPs also called for a constitution based upon the Qur’an and Sunnah, while Ettakatol argued for going back to the language of the 1958 constitution on this issue with its respect for all faiths. | Al-Maghrebia

MARCH 5

738,400 Tunisians are out of work, up from just over 700,000 six months earlier. The unemployment rate is now 18.9%, a half-yearly rise of 0.6%. While the overall number of people with jobs increased, the number of people entering the labor market grew at a much greater rate.| Tunisia Live

Rachid Ghannouchi, leader of Ennahda, said that he supported “partial secularism” saying that religion could not be imposed by force and that the rules of governance was derived from human reason, although religion provides a code of values and principles. | Tunisia Live

Representatives of the interim government and the Tunisian General Labor Union (UGTT) met last Saturday to mend the rift that has opened between the two institutions. | Tunisia Live

MARCH 2

Turkish President Abdullah Gül will visit Tunisia next week to support the country's post-revolution administration, presidential sources told Cihan. | World Bulletin

Ammar Hakim, the leader of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI) – one of Iraq’s largest and most powerful political parties, has been invited to visit Tunisia as a delegate in an upcoming conference regarding the role of Islam in development. The moderate Shiite cleric was personally invited by Khaled Chawket, secretary general of Tunisian political party the Free Patriotic Union (UPL), to provide his insight as an Islamist leader in a country that has also undergone tremendous political change in recent years. | Tunisia Live

On February 29, the Tunisian National Office of Family and Population (ONFP), in cooperation with the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), held a conference in Tunis, where it present the results of a national survey conducted on violence against women. The study concluded 1 in 5 Tunisian women was a victim of domestic violence. | Tunisia Live

MARCH 1

The head of Tunisia’s Constituent Assembly, Mustapha Ben Jaafar, has condemned the government of Israel for its arrest and continued detainment of Palestinian lawmakers. | Tunisia Live

The Constituent Assembly will be holding a meeting today with members of the government to discuss Tunisia’s internal affairs. Representatives of the Constituent Assembly will evaluate the performance of Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali and his cabinet in confronting the numerous challenges facing the country. | Tunisia Live

Reporters Without Borders condemned the many direct physical attacks by police on journalists that took place when the media were filming their use of violence and tear-gas to disperse a demonstration organized by the General Union of Tunisian Workers (UGTT) in Tunis on February 25. | All Africa

FEBRUARY 29

Tunisia is ready to grant asylum to Syrian President Bashar Al Assad as part of a negotiated settlement to the Syrian crisis, President Moncef Marzouki said in an interview with a local daily. | Gulf News

The Tunisian communist party (POCT) said that the Tunisian government should not depend on foreign aid to help the victims of the recent wave of floods. | Tunisia Live

In a television interview hosted by Lebanese journalist Marcel Ghanem, Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki said that he supports the recognition of Salafi parties. | Tunisia Live

FEBRUARY 28

Tunisia has offered Syrian President Assad political asylum if it helps to end the crackdown in the country. | Reuters

FEBRUARY 27

Today downtown Tunis echoed with the sound of the national anthem and cries of “Dégage!” as well over one thousand protesters took the street in defense of the country’s largest and most powerful union: the UGTT. | Tunisia Live

The Friends of Syria Conference has concluded in Tunis. Tunisian Foreign Minister Rafik Abdelsalam of Ennahda ruled out military intervention in Syria as an option: “We have had enough failed military intervention experiences, and we don’t want to repeat them…We consider the smuggling of arms in Syria as a serious threat to the stability and security in Syria.” | Tunisia Live

Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki on Saturday called on parliament to outlaw Takfirism (accusations of blasphemy) as a threat to public order. "Such practices can threaten the peace between citizens living in the same country and lead to conflict", Marzouki warned in a statement. | Middle East Online

FEBRUARY 23

Ennahda had first stated that there would be no references to Islam in Tunisia’s constitution other than the first article which was termed a “description of reality” however in the draft constitution, Islam is described as Tunisia's religion "and the principal source of its legislation." Hachmi Hamdi, who supported Ennahda before forming Popular List, said the draft was more Islamic than expected because "the public that voted for us is a conservative public that wants sharia as the principle source of the constitution." | Reuters

Tunisia’s court of cassation on Wednesday threw out a ruling banning pornographic websites. "The court quashed the first instance and appeals ruling that ordered the censorship of pornographic websites," the judicial source told AFP on condition of anonymity. | AP

FEBRUARY 22

The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, a civil society organization striving for the implementation of sharia in Tunisian society, changed its name to the Moderate Association for Awareness and Reform and has obtained legal recognition. | Tunisia Live

The General Tunisian Workers Union (UGTT) has been the target of what appears to be a coordinated series of attacks on its offices around the country. In the most serious incident, its branch office in Feriana sustained damage after a fire was lit, according to numerous Tunisian news sources. | Tunisia Live

The drafting of Tunisia’s new constitution began today with discussion of what will be perhaps one of the most divisive issues in Tunisian politics: the constitutional definition of the country’s national identity. Ennahda has moderated its position with regards to Islamic law in the constitution; however the CPR is demanding that there be no official religion of the state. | Tunisia Live

FEBRUARY 21

The third-largest party in Tunisia's constituent assembly, Aridha Shabiya or the Popular Petition, proposed on Monday a draft constitution based on Islamic law which will likely alarm the country's secularists. Together with Ennahda, the two parties would be able to pass the document with over 60% of the assembly. | Reuters

The Tunisian people spoke loud and clear in poll results released today by Tunisian think tank I Watch: the economy must take precedence for Tunisian politicians. 40% said that the economy was their priority, 31% said security, while only 18% said national identity, and 11% said the constitution. | Tunisia Live

Although the general outlook still shows certain difficulties, as demonstrated by the concerned analysis of a number of experts, especially for the medium-term), the Tunisian economy appears to be giving the first encouraging signs of recovery, at least according to export figures for January, which have shown a promising increase, in turn leading to excellent prospects in the industrial sector. | ANASaMed

FEBRUARY 17

Today, Tunisia commemorates the 23rd Anniversary of the Arab Maghreb Union, a political and trade alliance which has languished in recent years. Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki has recently exerted diplomatic efforts in an attempt to revive the bygone union. | Tunisia Live

Three Tunisian journalists have been arrested after publishing a photograph of a footballer frolicking with a nude woman, raising fears of a media crackdown by the country's new Islamist rulers. | Reuters

FEBRUARY 16

The pre-trial for the three Attounissia news men, who were arrested yesterday for the publication of a racy photo of Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira, was due to be held today in the prosecutor’s office in Bab Bnet, Tunis. | Tunisia Live

Tunisia’s President Moncef Marzouki apologized today for calling supporters of the firebrand Egyptian cleric Wajdi Ghoneim “bacteria.” Marzouki originally made the comments in an interview on national television, saying “Ghoneim is abnormal and those that invited him are bacteria.” | Tunisia Live

FEBRUARY 15

A Tunisian Facebook page calling for a protest to legalize marijuana in the country has garnered almost 4,000 potential attendees. It seeks to resuscitate an issue previously off-limits during the former regime of Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali. | Tunisia Live

According to data released by the National Statistics Institute (INS) this past Thursday, the country’s trade imbalance almost doubled, swelling from 559.3 million Tunisian Dinars (MTD) in January 2011 to 1009.3 MTD in January 2012. Although Tunisia has generally posted trade deficits of varying severity in its recent history, the latest figure stands out from past ones. | Tunisia Live

Tunisian rights activists said yesterday that they were taking legal action against a visiting Egyptian Muslim preacher for inciting hatred and advocating polygamy and female circumcision. | The National

FEBRUARY 14

Former Libyan Prime Minister Baghdadi Mahmoudi has been acquitted today of charges of illegally crossing the Tunisian-Libyan border in September, 2011. | Tunisia Live

The press attaché of the Tunisian Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that the ministry has not issued any official statement concerning the Bahraini revolution’s anniversary. | Tunisia Live

Despite the achievements of post-revolution Tunisia, much more work needs to be done to realize transitional justice, attendees at a recent Tunis forum concluded. “The government is not responsible for delaying the path of transitional justice in Tunisia,” said Samir Dilou, minister of human rights and transitional justice. | Maghrebia

FEBRUARY 13

On February 13, the Tunisian National Constituent Assembly began to draft the country’s new constitution. The drafting process, divided between six commissions, is expected to conclude in a maximum of 18 months—corresponding with Hamadi Jebali’s proposed deadline for holding presidential elections. | Tunisia Live

The Tunisian constituent assembly is considering whether to adopt a parliamentary or presidential system. Ennahda favors a parliamentary system but Ettakatol and CPR favor a presidential one. Ennahda only needs to convince 20 members of the assembly to vote for a presidential system, but the opposition parties believe they can convince enough members to defeat Ennahda on this issue. | Tunisia Live

Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki said Sunday he hoped the violence in Syria could be stopped under a similar plan to the one which saw Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh relinquish power. "I hope we will find a political solution akin to that in Yemen—that is to say, the departure of an unwanted dictator and a transition. | Al-Bawaba

FEBRUARY 9

The Tunisian ambassador to Syria, Mohamed Lawiti, as well as the rest of the ambassadorial staff in Syria, will return to Tunisia on Friday morning, February 10th. | Tunisia Live

FEBRUARY 10

While the newfound liberty of expression in Tunisia has allowed LGBT advocates to speak out more than ever before, recent homophobic comments from Tunisia’s minister of human rights have called into question the entitlements of the nascent movement. | Tunisia Live

Ennahda released a statement on February 7, calling for a demonstration in support of the Syrian people on Friday, February 10. The statement denounced Bashar Al Assad’s oppressive crackdown, which has escalated considerably in recent months. | Tunisia Live

FEBRUARY 9

The Tunisian ambassador to Syria, Mohamed Lawiti, as well as the rest of the ambassadorial staff in Syria, will return to Tunisia on Friday morning, February 10th. | Tunisia Live

FEBRUARY 8

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg paid an official visit to the American embassy in Tunis, Tunisia on February 4. The visit came as part of the Supreme Court judge’s midwinter break and sponsored by the U.S. State Department. | Tunisia Live

Tunisia’s President Moncef Marzouki said that talk about political divisions between the coalition government is baseless as the government is only a few months old. He noted that he fears the restructuring phase will last too long or it will lead to new and undesired political situations saying he wants a strong and stable political situation that serves the interests of the country. | Euronews

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Tunisia plummeted 29.2 percent last year in the aftermath of the revolt that felled long-standing president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, official data showed Wednesday. | IC Publications

FEBRUARY 7

The Ettajdid Movement – a party among the political opposition to the ruling coalition – released a statement on Saturday expressing its support for the Syrian uprising but also its bewilderment concerning the decision to expel the Syrian ambassador. The decision was described in the statement as, “hasty and inconsiderate.” Ettajdid pointed out the necessity of protecting the Tunisian diaspora residing in Syria. | Tunisia Live

Tunisia's new President Moncef Marzouki is preparing for a major drive to unify the Maghreb on his first foreign tour as the birthplace of the Arab Spring seeks to recover lost diplomatic prestige. | AFP

With Salafi-inspired terrorism casting a shadow on Tunisia's presence, the country's future could be even more cause for concern, faced with the enigma of 'Hezb Ettahir', the most fundamentalist party in Tunisia. The party continues its activities undisturbed despite the fact that it has been virtually banned by the Interior Ministry. | ANSA Med

FEBRUARY 6

The Tunisian Office of the President declared in a statement released today its initiation of the process to expel the Syrian ambassador to Tunisia and to withdraw recognition of the ruling regime in Damascus. | Tunisia Live

Hizb Ettahrir organized a demonstration today in downtown Tunis. Approximately 150 Hizb Ettahrir activists protested against the official visit of the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde in front of the iconic municipal theatre located on Avenue Habib Bourguiba. | Tunisia Live

Tunisia’s human rights minister has attacked an online gay magazine while being interviewed by TV presenter Samir El-Wafi. Minister Samir Dilou said ‘freedom of expression has its limits’ and agreed homosexuality was a ‘perversion’ which needed to be ‘treated medically’. | Pink News

FEBRUARY 3

The National Constituent Assembly voted yesterday in favor of Habib Khedr, a member of the moderate Islamist party Ennahda, to occupy a key decision-making post for the drafting of Tunisia’s constitution. The vote selected Khedr for the position of General Rapporteur of the Constitution Subcommittee over the opposition’s candidate Fadhel Moussa, a representative of the secular Democratic Modernist Pole. | Tunisia Live

Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali announced during his visit to Brussels for the World Economic Forum that the interim government intends to hold presidential elections in 18 months. He also asserted that the elections will be organized and supervised by an independent public authority. | Tunisia Live

International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde renewed the bank’s intentions to offer Tunisia a substantial loan package if needed in a press conference in Tunis today. The governor of the Tunisian Central Bank, Mustapha Kamel Nabeli, stated that the proposal is currently under consideration. | Tunisia Live

FEBRUARY 2

UNMISS is investigating reports of a massacre of nearly 80 people by armed men in uniforms in the Warrap State of South Sudan. | Reuters

Tunisian newspapers today announced a strike which aims to raise awareness about what media members see as the threatened state of journalists in Tunisia today and pressure on the government to put into action promised reforms guaranteeing protection of the media.| Tunisia Live

Tunisian security forces on Thursday killed two members of an armed group and arrested a third after a clash the day before left a policeman and three soldiers wounded, one of them critically, the state news agency reported. | Reuters

FEBRUARY 1

Thirteen months after the Tunisian revolution, the economy continues to be in a slump. Investment has slowed, tourism—a mainstay of the economy—is down, unemployment is rising and the government's target of 4.5 percent economic growth this year is looking over-optimistic. | al-Ahram

The composition of Tunisia’s official delegation to the 42nd annual World Economic Forum—held in Davos, Switzerland—has been the center of a recent controversy in Tunisia. Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali has been accused by opposition members of choosing representatives to attend the WEF on the basis of party affiliation. | Tunisia Live

JANUARY 31

Close to 6,000 demonstrators chanted slogans like “No to violence” and ”No to extremism” at a march taking place in downtown Tunis on January 28. A number of associations, political parties, unions, and civil society members participated in the march calling for freedom of expression. Other slogans such as “No niqab, no to salafism” and “Universities are free, extremism out,” were also chanted. | Tunisia Live

Tunisian police have arrested a young rapper, apparently over a song entitled "Nothing Has Changed" in which he denounces police abuse, his relatives told AFP Monday. Anis Mrabti—who goes by the stage name "Volcanis le Roi"—was arrested at his parents' home in Tunis' southern suburbs on January 25 by policemen who also took his computer, his father said. | Daily Star

JANUARY 30

In a brief speech today at the eighteenth African Union (AU) summit, Tunisian President, Moncef Marzouki, shed light on Tunisia’s new relations with African neighbors and the strong return of Tunisia to participate in Africa’s development. | Tunisia Live

Tunisian leftist activists have flooded the capital to protest against the Islamization of the country after the revolution. The organizers of the protests arranged a “march for freedom and democracy” via social networks urging people to stop radical Salafites  from preaching violence and hatred. | Voice of Russia

Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki has called for the extradition of ousted former leader, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who fled the country at the height of the revolution against his rule and sought refuge in Saudi Arabia. | Afrique en Ligne

JANUARY 27

Tunisia’s new Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali said Friday that the North African country cannot underwrite democracy without the help of its friends in Europe and the United States, a year after a popular uprising ousted Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali. “We are counting on the support of our friends in Europe and the United States,” he said. | WSJ

Tunisian Central Bank Governor Mustapha Kamel Nabli said his country may sell $500 million in dollar-denominated treasury bills to Qatar as it seeks to secure $5 billion in external financing this year. | Business Week

JANUARY 26

Interim President of Tunisia Moncef Marzouki announced the complete composition of his presidential cabinet. He appointed counselors and ministers, totaling 17 in all. Mouldi El Fahem, member of the executive committee of Progressive Democratic Party (PDP), criticized the nominations and stated that the president should have followed a more consensual process. | Tunisia Live

Tunisia's foreign minister said Thursday its newly formed coalition government —which includes Islamists, secularists and leftists — is a good model for other Arab countries moving toward democracy because it gets disparate parties to work together for the first time. Rafik Ben Abdessalem said it's important not to move from the one-party rule of the past to a democratic system where one party again controls the government. | MSNBC

Tunisia's foreign minister on Thursday urged the Syrian regime to "listen to its people," saying that Damascus has no choice but to accept the Arab League's proposals. "The Syrian people want a democratic system that preserves their dignity," Rafik Abdessalem told AFP on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum. | Daily Star

JANUARY 25

Tunisia has been chosen by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to host its upcoming annual conference for the World Press Freedom Day on May 3, 2012. The conference is entitled New Voices: Freedom of Press and Its Role in the Changing of Society. | Tunisia Live

Tunisia’s government says security forces have ended a two-month-old demonstration of Salafis that prevented exams being given at a university near the capital. Hatem Kattou, spokesman for the Ministry of Higher Education, said Tuesday that dozens of Salafi protesters have been evicted from Manouba University. | Washington Post

JANUARY 24

African Development Bank (AfDB) Group president Donald Kaberuka expressed his support for Tunisia’s economic recovery at today’s annual summit, which brought together government representatives, ambassadors, and bank executives. | Tunisia Live

Turkey's state-owned export credit agency Eximbank will provide loans totaling $750 million to Tunisia and Libya in connection with efforts to support reconstruction studies in these two civil war-torn countries, Turkish Economic Minister Zafer Çağlayan told reporters in Tripoli on Tuesday. | Today’s Zaman

JANUARY 23

Funds coming indirectly to Tunisian media from the U.S. State Department program Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), have raised concern lately for lack of transparency. | Tunisia Live

The trial of the director of Tunisia’s Nessma television, accused of “insulting sacred values” for broadcasting the Iranian film “Persepolis” last October, resumed Monday in a tense climate in Tunis. | Al-Arabiya

Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali expressed his concern regarding the deteriorating economic situation in Tunisia, in an interview broadcasted on Al Wataniya, Hannibal, and Nessma TV on Saturday. Jebali stated that the Tunisian economy has suffered from losses that have amounted to 2.5 billion Tunisian dinars. | Tunisia Live

JANUARY 20

A video was released January 18 on Youtube and Facebook allegedly depicting newly appointed Interior Minister Ali Laarayedh performing an intimate, possibly sexual, act with a fellow inmate in a prison cell. The video was supposedly filmed while he was a political prisoner detained within the Interior Ministry during the dictatorial reign of Tunisia’s ousted President, Zine Abedine Ben Ali. | Tunisia Live

A number of those who were wounded during the Tunisian revolution are organizing a protest this upcoming Sunday, January 22, in the Kasbah of Tunis. The protesters will be demonstrating to express their dissatisfaction over a lack of adequate compensation from the government since the revolution. | Tunisia Live

Makhtar, Tunisia, a town in the mountains and battered by the cold and grinding unemployment, decided to rebel to protest the lack of progress since the ousting of former President Zein Abedin Ben Ali. | Al-Ahram

JANUARY 19

In a workshop entitled, "Elections and Effective Citizens", organized by the Libyan Society of Future and Strategic studies at the Kabeer hotel in central Tripoli, Libyan NGOs were given information about the electoral law and the election process so that they in turn can then go and pass on the same knowledge via similar workshops to their communities. | Tripoli Post

Libya and Tunisia agreed on Thursday to boost cooperation on security, the fight against "terrorist groups" and border controls, according to a memorandum of understanding signed in Tripoli. | Al-Ahram

Tunisia has moved from one of the most authoritarian states in the world to partly free under the new ratings by Freedom House. | Freedom House

JANUARY 18

Mustafa Ben Jaafar, the head of the Ettakatol Party and speaker of the Constituent Assembly was elected on Wednesday as head of the constitutional drafting committee. | Tunisia Agency Press

While opposition parties have firmly expressed their opposition to an intervention in Syria, Ennahda and Ettakatol do not reject such action, as long it is undertaken with the Arab league’s sanction. | Tunisia Live

JANUARY 17

Najib Chebbi, head of the opposition Progressive Democratic Party (PDP), was quoted in the Tunisian daily Chorouk as saying that the current government is controlled by Ennahda. He expressed hope that “one party doesn’t dominate the government’s direction since that would be detrimental for the country.” | Al-Ahram

One year later, the cost of the revolution to Tunisia's economy stands at $5-8 billion—nearly 10 percent of the nation's GDP. Foreign direct invesment has fallen by 20 percent, and more than 80 foreign companies have shut down their operations in the country. Tourism, the largest source of foreign income for Tunisia, has slowed to a crawl since the revolution took place. | Al-Bawaba

The value of the Tunisian dinar has recently reached one of its lowest points. One American dollar is now exchanged at 1.5 Tunisian dinars, the weakest it has been since June 2010. | Tunisia Live

JANUARY 13

The Tunisian deputy prime minister responsible for the economy, Ridha Saidi, said on Friday that his government will review existing agreements with Turkey, including the 2005 Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to create favorable conditions for Turkish companies to operate in Tunisia. | Today’s Zaman

In an op-ed published in the Times of London today, British Foreign Secretary William Hague announced that he is optimistic about the future of the post-revolutionary transition of countries affected by the Arab Spring. He pledged the UK government’s continued support for the process of democratization in Tunisia. | Tunisia Live

JANUARY 12

Three major secular opposition parties announced their decision to merge at a press conference held on Wednesday in downtown Tunis. The parties, Afek Tounes, the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP), and the Republican Party (RP), were disappointed by their showing in October’s Constituent Assembly elections, in which the moderate Islamist party Ennahda took over 40 percent of available seats. | Tunisia Live

In the aftermath of Gaza based Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh’s visit to Tunisia, the Tunisian Jewish community is shaken, looking for answers and hoping the Tunisian government will act quickly to address the community’s fears. | Tunisia Live

Tunisian Foreign Minister Rafik Abdessalem has said the Syrian regime needs to work with neighboring Turkey as well as the Arab League to try to find a solution to the governance crisis in the Arab country, amid what he called “legitimate local demands for dignity, political participation and democracy” by the Syrian people. | Today’s Zaman

JANUARY 11

Fifteen Tunisian and international human rights groups issued a joint statement January 7 calling on the Tunisian government not to extradite former Libyan Prime Minister al-Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi. | Maghrebia

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu met with his Tunisian counterpart, Rafik Abdessalem, who was visiting Turkey as his first destination abroad since he assumed office, and hailed Tunisia's success as the success of the people of the entire region and of Turkey. | Daily Zaman

A local official in the Tunisian city of Sfax says a middle-aged woman has died after setting herself on fire—the fourth case of self-immolation in the last week in the North African nation. | Washington Post

JANUARY 10

Tomorrow a new opposition coalition of liberal and leftist parties is supposed to be formed in Tunisia. The coalition is expected to involve some of the center-left parties in the Tunisian political arena such as Afek Tounes, the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP), Voices of the Center, the Republican Party, and the Tunisia Labor Party. | Tunisia Live

President Moncef Marzouki has expressed astonishment with regard to articles and comments published by some Arab newspapers that have misrepresented the content of his speech in Libya, suggesting that it was an attempt to interfere in the internal affairs of Algeria. | Leaders

JANUARY 9

The syndicate of Tunisian journalists expressed dissatisfaction with the way the prime minister appointed the new presidents of major state media institutions. According to TAP, the syndicate showed disapproval as Interim Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali did not consult with them despite the fact that they are the sole legitimate and elected representative of Tunisian journalists. | Tunisia Live

Members of the Constituent Assembly voted today, January 7, for the inclusion of a clause guaranteeing transparency and open government in the country’s constitution. Among the 152 members, 149 voted in favor. Article 62 reads: Public information is the rule, secrecy is the exception. It is up for members of the committee to decide [when exceptions will be made]. | Tunisia Live

The head of Tunisia's moderate Islamic party, Ennahda, on Monday condemned anti-Semitic slogans chanted by a handful of ultraconservative Muslims during the arrival of a top Hamas official. | ABC News

JANUARY 6

Tunisia approved a nearly 23 billion dinar budget, a 7.5 percent increase over a year ago, with the majority of the expenditures set aside for social development. | Maghrebia

The senior leader of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, arrived in Tunis during the early afternoon of January 5th. | Tunisia Live

A delegation of American senators, headed by Senator Daniel Inouye, is visiting Tunisia from January 5–7. The senators will be meeting with Tunisian Foreign Affairs Minister Rafik Abedssalem today at 5:00 p.m. at the Foreign Ministry. A press conference is scheduled to follow the meeting. | Tunisia Live

JANUARY 5

Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki concluded his visit to neighboring Libya today. Marzouki announced that his next foreign visits will include Algeria and Morocco, in an effort to reinforce relations among the Arab Maghreb. | Tunisia Live

The adoption of the Tunisian National Constituent Assembly’s bylaws will be brought before a vote tomorrow, January 6th. The 160 clauses were discussed in plenary sessions, and the Commission in charge of the Constituent Assembly’s internal policy has been accepting amendments to the document. | Tunisia Live

France wants to establish a new relationship with Tunisia on the basis of mutual respect and equal footing said French Foreign Minister Alan Juppe after meeting with Tunisian President Moncef al-Marzouki. | Tunisia Agency Press

JANUARY 4

Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas Prime Minister of Gaza is visiting Tunisia on Thursday, January 5th. Haniyeh who is making his first official trip abroad since his Islamist movement took over the Gaza Strip in 2007 has already been welcomed in Turkey and Egypt and is scheduled to visit Qatar, Bahrain and Iran after Tunisia.| Tunisia Live

Tunisia jumped from the 145th to the 92nd position among the 167 countries measured in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index, making it the highest ranked in the Arab world for 2011. | Tunisia Live

During the second day of his visit to Libya, Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki stressed the need to promote cooperation between both countries with a view to achieve integration, the Tunisian official press agency TAP reported on Tuesday. | Xinhua

JANUARY 3

President Moncef Marzouki on his first official visit to Libya said that former Gadhafi government official Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi could be extradited to Libya to face trial if the TNC could guarantee him a fair trial. | BBC

The ministers of the new Tunisian interim Government, belonging to the Ennahda Movement have decided to contribute at least ten percent of their salaries to their party. | Tunisia Live

Leaders from Tunisia's four main opposition parties met outside of Tunis earlier this week to discuss plans for a possible alliance of centrist and center-left political groups. The opposition parties seek to form a strong unified front that will compete to win most of the seats in the next legislative election, which will be held in early 2013. The group includes the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP), Afek Tounes, the Modernist Democratic Pole (PDM), Ettajdid, and other opposition forces. | Maghrebia

DECEMBER 19

Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali is set to meet with President Marzouki today to present the composition of his new government; it has been reported that the government will include 48 members, 26 ministers, 6 junior ministers under the prime minister, and 16 deputy ministers. | Tunisia Live

Tunisia’s President Marzouki has announced plans to sell off most the presidential palaces and use the cash to fund new jobs. | Reuters

DECEMBER 16

The presidential palaces will be sold by auction except for the palace of Carthage," announced President Moncef Marzouki, adding that the revenues will be allocated to promote the sector of employment. | Tunisia Agency Press

The Justice Ministry says Tunisia has lifted a warrant summoning the widow of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat over a corruption scandal. | Associated Press

U.S. President Barack Obama announced December 14 through a White House press release his intention to appoint a new U.S. ambassador to Tunisia. | AllAfrica

DECEMBER 15

AIn his first interview as President of Tunisia, Moncef al-Marzouki requested that the Tunisian people observe a six month moratorium on strikes and protests to allow the new transitional government to do its work. He noted that he had excellent relations with Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali and that although they differ ideologically, both had first met years ago in the struggle against the former regime. | Tunisia Live

The Congress for the Republic Party nominated the following names to the new government: Mohamed Abbou, minister in charge of adminsitrative reform; Samir Ben Amor, minister of state property; Naceur Brahmi, minister of education; Zouhour Kourda, minister of women's affairs; Abdessalem Chaabane, minister of youth and sports; Dhamir Manai, secretary of state in the office of the industry minister in charge of energy and mines; Hédi Ben abbas, secretary of state in the FM's office. | Tunisia Agency Press

Ettakatol nominated the following names to the new government: Mr. Khalil Zaouia, social affairs minister; Mr. Ilyes Fakhfakh, trade and tourism minister; Mr. Khayam Turki, finance minister; Mr. Abdelhay Shouikha, economic minister; Mr. Abderrahman Ladgham, health reform minister; Mrs. Lobna Jeribi, communication technologies minister; and Mrs. Thouraya Hammami, secretary of state to industry. | Tunisia Agency Press

DECEMBER 14

A Tunisian leftist party, known as Doustourna, called for the creation of a political coalition of leftist and center parties to oppose the ruling coalition currently in power. | Tunisia Live

Hamadi Jebali, secretary general of Ennahda Party, was appointed as Tunisia’s prime minister on Tuesday. Jebali is expected to announce his cabinet within the next few days. Jebali will carry out negotiations on the formation of the government in 21 days starting from December 14. | Tunisia Live

Samir Bettaib, a member of the Constituent Assembly who was elected from the Modernist Democratic Pole (PDM), expressed his discontent with the “mini-Constitution” which will govern the constituent assembly until its term expires. He claimed that it does not meet the opposition’s expectations as it supposedly lacks balance between the different branches of government. “We wanted a strong president – not laws that overly favor the prime minister and give the position tremendous powers,” said Bettaib, who was one of several members of the assembly who were skeptical of how ‘temporary’ the interim government really is. | Tunisia Live

DECEMBER 13

Tunisia’s new president, Moncef Marzouki, was sworn in today in front of the country’s Constituent Assembly, nearly a year after the uprising that toppled Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali began. Marzouki solemnly promised to represent all Tunisians and called on the populace to unite for the good of the country. He paid homage to those who died during the revolution against former president Ben Ali a year ago. | Tunisia Live

The Tunisian Press Agency revealed the composition of Tunisian ministerial posts last evening according to a source who wished to remain anonymous. | Tunisia Live

DECEMBER 12

Tunisia's League of Human Rights President Abdessattar Ben Moussa has called for "integrating the principles of human rights in drafting the new Constitution". | Tunisia Agency Press

Ousted Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali has broken his long silence to send a letter of reply to his detractors. He denies having ever ordered the shooting of anti-terror squad agents, and provides documentation supporting his claim. | Tunisia Live

DECEMBER 7

The National Constituent Assembly (NCA) adopted, on Wednesday morning, unanimously the draft preamble and bill providing for the organization of the provisional public authorities, after having introduced amendments and changed the name by "consecutive law pertaining to the provisional authorities' organization." | Tunisia Agency Press

The Constituent Assembly resumed its work on Wednesday to carry on discussion, article by article, of the draft constituent law on the provisional organization of public authorities. | Tunisia Live

DECEMBER 6

The Modernist Democratic Pole (PDM) has decided "to change from an electoral coalition into an open political front" and to undertake required legal procedures in accordance with provisions of Article 15 of the Political Parties Act, dated September 30, 2011. | Tunisia Agency Press

On December 6, Tunisia’s recently elected Constituent Assembly met to pass legislation defining provisional public roles and regulations, including the role of the president of the Republic, and to begin accepting nominations for the post. However, what began as calm session soon retreated into a cacophony of arguing until the session was dismissed that afternoon. | Tunisia Live

Tuesday's works of the plenary session of the Constituent Assembly recorded the divergent views of its members over the agenda. | Tunisia Agency Press

DECEMBER 5

Thousands of Tunisian Islamists and secularists have staged parallel protests outside of the interim parliament in a dispute on the role Islam should play in society. | Reuters

DECEMBER 2

Tunisia has expressed concern over repeated attacks against its “territorial integrity and security by armed Libyans.” | Tripoli Post

Tunisian universities have gone on strike and nearly 3,000 people protested after religious hardliners occupied a campus to demand segregation of male and female students. | Reuters

DECEMBER 1

Chairman of the January 14 Forces Party Wahid Dhiab has announced his bid for presidency of the Tunisian republic. | Tunisian News Agency

A Tunisian military court has sentenced former President Ben Ali to five years in prison for his role in a 1991 case in which 17 servicemen were accused of plotting a coup against his regime. | CNN

NOVEMBER 30

Around 400 protesters are attending the relatively peaceful protest holding banners demanding increased public oversight over the constituent assembly’s deliberations, a democratic constitution and a parliamentary television channel for live broadcasts of all constituent assembly sessions. | Tunisia Live

Caretaker President Foued Mebazaa, on Monday, signed a decree providing for the extension of the state of emergency to the end of next December. | Tunisia Agency Press

National Defence Minister Abdelkrim Zbidi received, on Wednesday in Tunis, Admiral Edouard Guillaud, chief of staff of the French Army, who is heading a high-ranking military delegation on a visit in Tunisia. | Tunisia Agency Press

NOVEMBER 29

Two items are still the subject of disagreement in the constituent assembly before the election of the president will be held: the first one relates to the prerogatives of the president of the republic, the prime minister, and the constituent assembly speaker; and the second one to the plurality of duties in both the government and the assembly. | Tunisia Agency Press

Next Friday, members of the Constituent Assembly will officially elect the interim president, who will in turn designate the prime minister who will be in charge of forming the new government. | Tunisia Live

Rached Ghannouchi, the leader of the Moderate Islamic Party Ennahda, is in Washington DC for a series of meetings with policy makers, figures in the media, and foreign policy think tanks. He began his visit on Monday, November 28. | Tunisia Live

NOVEMBER 21

The report from the Bahraini News Agency claiming that Ennhada stated the February and March 2011 anti-government protests in Bahrain were “riotous acts of sabotage by sectarian elements who had nothing to do with the Arab Spring” is untrue, according to multiple officials in Ennahda. | Tunisia Live

Ennahda refused to give the key ministries of the Interior and Justice to Moncef al-Marzouki’s CPR Party. | Kapitalis

A "written agreement" will be signed on Monday afternoon by Ennhada, the Congress for the Republic, and the Democratic Forum for Labour and Liberties "Ettakatol," on the outcome of the negotiations held over the top three government posts. | Tunisia Agency Press

NOVEMBER 18

After ISIE’s official announcement of the election’s final results on November 14, Tunisia is now anticipating the first session of the National Constituent Assembly. This meeting will take place on Tuesday, November 22, in the former parliament’s building of Bardo, Tunis. | Tunisia Live

The Modernist Democratic Pole (PDM), made up of several political parties, associations and public figures, said that the recent statement of Hamadi Jebali, Secretary General of Ennahdha and its nominee to be the next prime minister, about the sixth caliphate, aroused doubts about his capacity to lead the government and about his party’s political plan. | Tunisia Agency Press

NOVEMBER 17

The politburo of the Ettakatol Party, the Forum for Labour and Liberties, decided to carry on suspension of its participation in the three tripartite commissions tasked with looking at the line-up of the next government, until Ennahdha Movement clarifies its stand on the issue of the “caliphate,” TAP news agency learnt from an informed Ettakatol source. | Tunisia Agency Press

The nomination of Moncef Marzouki as interim president is not yet official, but according to officials in the CPR, it is the final decision of both the CPR and Ennahda. The two parties reached the decision after negotiations over the past few days.| Tunisia Live

The head of a Tunisian television station whose broadcast of "Persepolis" sparked violent protests, said Wednesday he faced trial and up to three years in jail if convicted of offending Islamic values. | AFP

NOVEMBER 16

The Modernist Democratic Pole (PDM), made up of several political parties, associations and public figures, said that the recent statement of Hamadi Jebali, Secretary General of Ennahdha and its nominee to be the next prime minister, about the 6th caliphate, aroused doubts about his capacity to lead the government and about his party’s political plan. | Tunisia Agency Press

Several media outlets have reported the appointment of Moncef Marzouki, former doctor, human rights advocate, and president of the Congress for the Republic political party, as interim president of Tunisia. | Tunisia Live

Ettakatol (Democratic Forum for Labor and Liberties) Party has announced that they have suspended their discussions to be a part of the governing coalition in the upcoming Tunisian Constituent Assembly. This was due to Hamadi Jebali’s statement about a 6th caliphate. | Tunisia Live

NOVEMBER 15

Tunisian Islamist party Ennahda invited Houda Naïm, a Hamas member of the Palestinian Legislative Council based in Gaza, to speak at a rally in Sousse, a coastal Tunisian city, this past Sunday. The event marked the first time in known memory a member of Hamas has addressed the Tunisian public. | Tunisia Live

To combat corruption and manage national assets, the Tunisian government established a national holding company for state industries in Tunisia, the CDC (Caisse des Dépôts et Consignation). | Tunisia Live

Caretaker President Foued Mebazaa received, on Tuesday in Carthage, from Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Radhouan Nouicer a report on Tunisia's participation in the Arab League's ministerial council, held last November 12 and devoted to following up the situation in Syria. | Tunisia Agency Press

NOVEMBER 14

Only the Speaker of the National Constituent Assembly who will be elected on November 22 has the right to invite foreign personalities to the extraordinary session of the assembly,” said Al Nahda spokesman Nour Al Deen B’hiri. | Gulf News

Ennahda praised the Arab League’s decision on suspending Syria’s membership. CPR along with Ettakol believed that the decision was not enough and more immediate steps needed to be taken. The Baath Party opposed getting involved in Syrian affairs. | Tunisia Live

The moderate Islamists of the Ennahda party have won 89 of the 217 seats in Tunisia's new constituent assembly, according to definitive official results released on Monday. The runners up in the first free elections were the left-wing Congress for the Republic (CPR; 29 seats) and the Popular Petition (26 seats) who had their seats reinstated in full. Ettakatol won 20 seats. | AFP

NOVEMBER 10

On November 9, Islamist party Ennahda told the Tunisian stock exchange on they will promote greater options in Islamic finance. The party did not elaborate much on reforming the current conventional financial system. | Tunisia Live

Tunisia’s populist Aridha Chaabia party appears to be headed for marginalization within the Constituent Assembly, despite winning 26 seats and third place in the October 23 elections. Several powerful and respected parties say they will not work with Aridha at all, while electoral winner Ennahda says they have not opened any negotiations with the party. | Tunisia Live

Ennahda Secretary General Hamadi Jebali said that all women, including single mothers, will be protected under the law in Tunisia, although he did not outright refute controversial remarks made by prominent Ennahda Constituent Assembly member, Souad Abderrahim on Radio Monte Carlo. | Tunisia Live

NOVEMBER 9

The president of the High Authority for the Achievement of Revolutionary Objectives (HAARO) and legal expert Iyadh Ben Achour stated that “the Constitution is not a legal code. Thus, it should not be filled with too many details.” He believes the Constitution should have no more than 90 articles. However, “it should be understandable to all Tunisian citizens, regardless of their academic background.” | Tunisia Live

It is nearly one year after the Tunisian revolution, the governorate of Sidi Bouzid still has no local newspaper or television station, and radio is still developing. | Tunisia Live

NOVEMBER 8

Moncef Marzouki, chairman of the Congress for the Republic Party (CPR), which won 30 seats in the National Constituent Assembly (NCA), called for a new economic and social contract binding together the state and the private sector—one that rests on a set of rights and duties for both sides. | Tunisia Agency Press

Several newspapers are reporting that another meeting between Ennahda, the Congress for the Republic (CPR), and Ettakatol will take place November 8, two weeks after the election of the Constituent Assembly, to discuss the new political map of Tunisia. | Tunisia Live

A Tunisian commission awarded the Islamic party Ennahda an additional seat in the 217-member national assembly following a review of election returns. | United Press International

NOVEMBER 4

Tunisia’s new Constituent Assembly will have broad power but should be held to a strict time limit, argues Tunisian constitutional lawyer Yadh Ben Achour. | Tunisia Live

NOVEMBER 3

Several hundred Tunisian women of different ages staged a demonstration, on Wednesday at the Kasbah Government Square, calling for the "preservation of Tunisian women's gains" in the new constitution whose penning has been entrusted to the National Constituent Assembly elected last October 23. | Tunisia Agency Press

Hamadi Jebali, Secretary-General of Ennahdha Movement, winner of the Constituent Assembly elections, reassured Tunisian businessmen and investors, asserting that Ennahdha considers businessmen as partners in the decision-making process. | Tunisia Agency Press

The Ettajdid (Renewal) Movement voiced readiness to contribute, with the other components of the Democratic and Modernist Pole (DMP), to the debate on determining the appropriate political and organizational measures to vitalize the Pole and boost its openness on all parties. | Tunisia Agency Press

NOVEMBER 1

Political figures close to prominent Tunisian lawyer Abdelfattah Mourou say that he could return to the moderate Islamist party Ennahda in the near future after failing to win a seat in the Constituent Assembly. | Tunisia Live

"In a free and democratic state securing balance but also separation of religious and political powers, an Islamic democracy can emerge and succeed in Tunisia," said European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek at a news conference held on Monday, as part of his two-day-visit in Tunisia. | Tunisia Agency Press

OCTOBER 31

A protest that took place in Sidi Bouzid yesterday resulted in many damages on account of the fires set in many public and security buildings. | Tunisia Live

According to the Tunisian Ministry of Justice, the Court of First Instance in Tunis issued an arrest warrant against Suha Arafat, the widow of the former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. | Tunisia Live

When the Independent High Authority for the Elections (ISIE) disqualified six lists of the Aridha Chaabia group from the October 23 elections, the seats were reassigned to the next runners-up. Aridha’s loss became other parties’ gain, representing a sizeable shift in the power balance of the Constituent Assembly. Of the eight invalidated seats, two went to Ennahda, one to the Congress for the Republic (CPR), one went to Ettakatol, one went to the Patriotic Democratic Movement (MPD), and one went to the “Independent List” in Sidi Bouzid. | Tunisia Live

OCTOBER 28

Ennahdha won 90 of the 217 seats in the official results of the Tunisian elections. The center-left Congress for the Republic (CPR), a secular party, placed second with 30 seats. The Democratic Forum for Labor and Liberties - or Ettakatol - came in third with 21 seats. | Businessweek; Voice of America

The Aridha Chabia Party has shocked Tunisian politics with its strong fourth place showing with 19 seats in the constituent assembly. The party was most popular in Sidi Bouzid the hometown of Mohammad Bouazizi which started the Tunisian uprising. One reason why is because the party’s founder Mohamed Hechmi Hamdi is from Sidi Bouzid. | Tunisia Live

The violent protests and clashes that broke out in the night of Thursday to Friday in the town of Sidi Bouzid after the Independent Higher Authority for the Elections (IHAE) cancelled several seats won by "Al Aridha" (People's Petition) headed by Hachmi Hamdi, native of the region, are going on Friday in the region. | Tunisia Agency Press

OCTOBER 27

Ennahdha Movement Secretary-General Hammadi Jebali announced that he will be his party's candidate to lead the next government, pointing out that, "in all democracies of the world, the Secretary-General of the party which wins the majority in the election holds the function of Prime Minister." | Tunisia Agency Press

"The success of the Congress for the Republic (CPR) party in reaching all national trends and its attachment to both the Arab-Muslim identity and edification of a State that guarantees equal rights for all Tunisians are the keys of the party's success in garnering several seats in the National Constituent Assembly (NCA), according to the preliminary election results," CPR chairman Moncef Marzouki said on Wednesday. | Tunisia Agency Press

Chairman of "Ettakatol" party Mustapha Ben Jaafar said the issue of serving as Interim President of Tunisia does not arise in his party, underlining that, "It has not been discussed in the party." | Tunisia Agency Press

OCTOBER 26

El-Nahda is seeking to enter into a coalition government. Secretary-general, Hamadi Jbeli, said he is the party’s candidate for the premiership of a new government, state-run Agence Tunis Afrique Presse reported today. “It is the logical thing, given that in all democracies the secretary- general of the party that wins the majority heads the government,” TAP cited him as saying. | Businessweek

So far, results are in for 136 of the 217 seats. Of those: 40 percent (56 seats) have gone to al-Nahda, the Islamist party, 30 percent (41 seats) to the big liberal parties (CPR, Ettakatol, PDP, Ettajdid), 13 percent (18 seats) to Popular Petition, the second most popular party so far. | The Atlantic

Hamadi Jebali and Rached Ghannouchi, leaders of moderate Islamist party Ennahda, said in an interview with Shems FM that they are considering names to support for the presidency, including Mostapha Ben Jaafar of Ettakatol and Moncef Marzouki of the CPR. | Tunisia Live

OCTOBER 25

In the results released thus far, no party besides Ennahda has won even one district in popular votes. | Tunisia Live

Anonymous sources from within the Congress for the Republic (CPR) confirm that discussions have begun with Ennahda about choosing positions within the next government. With a plurality and maybe a majority within the Constituent Assembly, Ennahda will doubtless be a dominant force in the transitional government, but they intend to share important positions. Negotiation over which party gets which post will likely be contentious. | Tunisia Live

Al Jazeera Arabic’s projection of the national popular vote results: Ennahda 45%, CPR 15%, Ettakatol 10%, Aridha Chaabia (Popular Petition) 10%. They also project that Ennahda’s 45% plurality will result in a majority of seats in the Constituent Assembly, based on the proportional list system. | Tunisia Live

OCTOBER 24

The Ennahda party said Monday it would have at least 60 seats on Tunisia's 217-member constitution-writing assembly, as ballot counting continued in the country's first-ever free elections. | AFP

4.1 million people registered for Tunisia’s first elections since the ouster of former President Zein al-Din Ben Ali and more than 90 percent voted. Results will likely be announced tomorrow, according to Kamel Jendoubi, chairman of the election board. | Business Week

Moderate Islamists said Monday their party appeared to be ahead in Tunisia's first free election since an uprising earlier this year that set off the Arab Spring revolts, hinting at a shift in a country long known for its secularism. | Reuters

OCTOBER 21

The new constituent assembly that will emerge from Tunisia's landmark elections this weekend will, without a doubt, have one of the highest percentages of female members of any Middle Eastern parliament. | Boston Globe

The Free Patriotic Union, created by a group of Tunisian businessmen who have lived abroad for years, is emerging as a player in the elections. The party has resources that few of Tunisia's longstanding opposition groups can match. It has outspent every other party in advertising. Its extensive resources have been used to run a campaign reaching out to the country's most marginalized areas, promising investment and job opportunities. | Al Jazeera English

Campaigning is winding down in Tunisia on Friday as voters prepare to cast ballots in what will be the first elections since the revolution that toppled former President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in January. | Voice of America

OCTOBER 20

Human Rights Watch has issued a report on which Tunisian political parties are willing to suspend basic freedoms and when. The report revealed that most political parties want to protect basic freedoms including of press, religion, and assembly. This issue is significant as the elections will elect a constituent assembly charged with writing a constitution. | Human Rights Watch

Rached Ghannouchi declared yesterday that, "in the event of fraud, we will take the path of revolt and go to the streets with the Tunisian people." He gave a passionate speech where he accused other parties of being more of the same, and said that en Nahda had more martyrs than any party in the revolution. | Guardian; Tunisia Live

Voting abroad for the elections of the National Constituent Assembly started Thursday and will go on until next October 22. | Tunisian Agency Press

OCTOBER 19

Rached Ghannouchi, leader of Tunisia’s Ennahda party, has announced to the Egyptian journal “Al Haram” and the TV channel France 24 that his party will probably obtain more than 50% of the votes. | Tunisia Live

Mustapha Ben Jaafar, secretary general of the Democratic Forum for Labour and Freedoms, or "Ettakatol," said the intense involvement of Tunisians in the elections of the Constituent Assembly will guarantee the diversity and richness of its composition, which will block the way to the hegemony of one party. | Business News

Ahmed Najib Chebbi, founder of the Democratic Progressive Party (PDP), on Monday called on Tunisian voters to vote for centrist parties, saying that the PDP belongs to the center. "The PDP will accept the choice of the Tunisian people," Chebbi said. "If the results are not in favor of the PDP, our party will assume its responsibilities and will be in the opposition as a force to preserve democracy and pluralism, "he argued. | Business News

OCTOBER 18

Tunisia's next government needs to quickly revive the country's privatization program to help get the economy back on track, while tourism should benefit now that the situation in neighboring Libya is more stable, its interim finance minister said on Tuesday. | al-Ahram

The Tunisian Association for Democratic and Fair Elections (ATIDE) announced on Tuesday that it will monitor the Constituent Assembly elections in Tunisia and abroad. | Tunisia Agency Press

The Tunisian independent election body opened on Monday afternoon a press center at the congress palace in Tunis for the coverage of the Constituent Assembly elections. The center has been equipped with all the necessary logistics to ease the work of reporters. | AFP

OCTOBER 17

Portugal's Foreign Affairs Minister Paulo Portas emphasized, on Monday in Tunis, his country's support for the democratic process in Tunisia.| Tunisia Agency Press

Tunisian voters head to the polls on October 23 to vote in the first comprehensive general election to emerge from the "Arab Spring"—this year's pro-democracy protests in North Africa and the Middle East. | BBC News

Tunisia's electoral commission held a test vote Sunday that appeared to run smoothly one week before historic elections in the country that launched the Arab Spring revolts. | AFP

OCTOBER 13

The High Authority for the Achievement of the Revolution Objectives, Political Reform and Democratic Transition held the closing session of its council ahead of a ceremony due Thursday during which the Council will announce the official closing of the authority's work. | Tunisia Agency Press

Head of the Independent Higher Authority for Elections (IHAE) Kamel Jendoubi stressed, at a meeting with the team of observers of the Constituent Assembly elections, that the role of the observers is both "important" and "sensitive " and that the election body is striving to monitor the campaign, particularly foreign funding and election expenses to ensure equality between all candidates. | Tunisia Agency Press

"Reporters Without Borders (RSF) will endeavor to provide technical, financial, and political assistance to Tunisia's journalists and media and especially those in inland cities'' said RSF Secretary-General Jean-François Julliard at the inauguration of a permanent RSF office in Tunis. | Tunisia Agency Press

OCTOBER 12

Political parties condemned, in communiqués released on Monday, the violent attacks by Salafist protesters against the offices of private TV station "Nessma" and the university of Sousse, denouncing these practices they described as "dangerous and unknown" to the Tunisian society and threatening democratic values. | Tunisia Agency Press

Foreign Minister Mohamed Mouldi Kefi received Swedish Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Frank Belfrage, who is on a visit to Tunisia. | Tunisia Agency Press

The information department of Iran's Embassy in Tunis expressed amazement at the recent broadcast by Tunisian private TV channel "Nessma" of the French-Iranian animated film entitled "Persepolis," describing this film as heretical since it denigrates Islam and provides a fake image of the Iranian society. | Tunisia Agency Press

OCTOBER 11

"I apologise to the Tunisian people for the airing of the controversial sequence of the film 'Persepolis.' I admit that it was a grave mistake. It will never happen again," Nessma private TV channel Director-General Nabil Karoui said to TAP news agency on the phone, adding "I'm so sorry and distressed." | Tunisia Agency Press

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) will open its office in Tunisia on Wednesday. | Tunisia Agency Press

Chairman of the Independent Higher Authority for Elections (IHAE) Kamel Jendoubi said that "material preparations for elections are nearing completion and what remains now is printing all ballot papers which will be ready in two days, supplying the election ink, and training personnel who will oversee the elections." | Tunisia Agency Press

OCTOBER 7

Interim Prime Minister Béji Caid Essebsi conferred on Thursday in Washington with Republican Senator John McCain about the process of democratic transition in Tunisia and preparations for the elections of the constituent assembly. | Tunisia Agency Press

"In Tunisia, all the conditions of success are provided in view of the credibility enjoyed by the government, the awareness and education of the people, the emancipation of women as well as the existence of a large middle class," said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at her meeting Thursday in Blair House in Washington with Interim Prime Minister Béji Caid Essebsi. | Tunisia Agency Press

Turkey could be a role model due to the many similarities between the country, a model that combines Islam with modernity,  Tunisian leader Rashid al-Ghannushi suggested at Friday session of a workshop where intellectuals from various countries gathered to discuss the latest developments of Arab Spring in İstanbul. | Daily Zaman

OCTOBER 6

"Tunisia could be a model for several countries of the region if it managed to achieve the objectives of last January 14 revolution," affirmed Interim Prime Minister Béji Caid Essebsi at a series of talks he had on Wednesday in Washington with U.S. congress members. | Tunisia Agency Press

The Tunisian General Labour Union (TGLU), the Tunisian Human Rights League (THRL) and the Bar call on all political parties, independents, and coalitions running for the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) election to abide by the decree-laws ruling the electoral process to consecrate the mechanisms of fair competition, in order to show their sense of citizenship and mutual respect as a token of loyalty to the martyrs of the Revolution. | Tunisia Agency Press

OCTOBER 5

The next elections for a Constituent Assembly that will draft a new constitution offer Prime Minister Beji Caied Essebsi a historic chance to hand over power in a peaceful, democratic transition, a rare event in the history of the region. Ebssebsi believes this is a “duty and an honor". | Tunisia Agency Press

The Al Majd Party chose the city of Hammam-Chatt (southern suburb of Tunis) to start their campaign for the elections of the Constituent Assembly, wishing to commemorate the 26th anniversary of the Israeli raid on the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) headquarters. | Tunisia Agency Press

Tunisia has sent a new request for assistance to Switzerland in its attempt to gain access to frozen assets belonging to deposed President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali.| Swiss Info

OCTOBER 4

Secretary-General of the Democratic Forum for Labour and Freedoms (Ettakatol) Mustapha Ben Jaafar announced, on Sunday in Kasserine, the launch of the electoral campaign of FDTL for the National Constituent Assembly election. | Tunisia Agency Press

The World Bank is ready to provide the necessary financial assistance to Tunisia in this stage of transition to democracy, announced World Bank President Robert Zoellick during his talks with Interim Prime Minister Béji Caid Essebsi, on a current visit in Washington. | Tunisia Agency Press

"I will not stay beyond the constituent assembly elections" said Caretaker President Foued Mebazaa at a news conference on Monday in Geneva where he attended the 62nd session of the UNHCR Executive Committee. | Tunisia Agency Press

SEPTEMBER 30

Caretaker President Foued Mebazaa received, during his meeting on Friday morning with Foreign Minister Mohamed Mouldi Kefi, a report on the Tunisian participation in the 66th session of the United Nations General Assembly, held recently in New York. | Tunisia Agency Press

Caretaker Prime Minister Béji Caid Essebsi received, on Friday, Fact-Finding Commission on Abuses Chairman Taoufik Bouderbala. | Tunisia Agency Press

A delegation of European Union (EU) observers met, recently in Tozeur, with representatives of civil society, media, parties and independent lists, as well as with members of the Independent Regional Authority for the Elections (IRAE) in this constituency. | Tunisia Agency Press

SEPTEMBER 29

The amount dedicated to public funding of the election campaign stands at 9.5 million dinars, two-thirds of which have already been deposited into current accounts of candidate parties and independent lists. | Tunisia Agency Press

The European Union, Switzerland, and the World Bank expressed on Wednesday commitment to do their utmost to ease the return of the assets plundered by former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and his relatives, at the opening of the first meeting of the Tunisia-EU task force. | Tunisia Agency Press

SEPTEMBER 28

Interim Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi, at the invitation of U.S. President Barack Obama, will pay a working visit to Washington October 3-7. | Tunisia Agency Press

Essebsi received Abdessatar Ben Moussa, the new chairman of the Tunisian League for Human Rights (LTDH), in Tunis on Wednesday. | Tunisia Agency Press

Foreign Minister Mouldi Kefi called on Monday in New York for the international community to support a democratic transition in Tunisia, as well as the efforts made to overcome the economic difficulties surrounding peoples’ revolutions generally and the effects on Tunisia of the humanitarian and economic crisis in Libya. | Tunisia Agency Press

SEPTEMBER 27

Foreign Minister Mouldi Kefi called Monday in New York for the international community to support democratic transition in Tunisia, as well as the efforts made to overcome the economic difficulties surrounding peoples’ revolutions generally and the effects on Tunisia of the humanitarian and economic crisis in Libya. | Tunisia Agency Press

On the sidelines of the annual assemblies of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB), held from September 23 to 25 in Washington, Minister of Planning and International Co-operation Abdelhamid Triki conferred with World Bank President Robert Zoellick. | Tunisia Agency Press

SEPTEMBER 26

"Strengthening the Constituent Elements of Democracy: Support to Political Parties” is the topic of a training program to be launched shortly for parties, the electoral committee, the civil society, and the media. | Tunisia Agency Press

Chairman of the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) Ahmed Néjib Chebbi reasserted his party’s commitment to preserve the dignity of all Tunisian citizens and put an end to all forms of disparities between regions and categories. | Tunisia Agency Press

SEPTEMBER 23

Interim Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi received Chairman of the Initiative Party (IP) Kamel Morjane in Tunis on Thursday. | Tunisia Agency Press

The U.S.-Tunisia Joint Political & Economic Partnership (JPEP), a new framework for bilateral cooperation, was inaugurated in Washington on Thursday. | RTT News

SEPTEMBER 22

The Politburo of the Free Patriotic Union (UPL) decided to stop its political advertising campaign, while reserving the right to appeal before court the decision by the Higher Independent Authority for Elections (IHAE) to ban the pre-election campaign from September 12 to 30. | Tunisia Agency Press

The head of the European Union observers delegation for the October 23 Constituent Assembly election, Michael Gahler, presented at a news conference on Wednesday in Tunis the line-up of the delegation and the number of participants. | Tunisia Agency Press

The Tunisian army destroyed seven four-wheel-drive vehicles in a remote desert battle on Wednesday near the border with Algeria, the Defense Ministry said. | Washington Post

SEPTEMBER 21

Interim Prime Minister Béji Caïd Essebsi stressed the need to revise the social model that has established imbalance in matters of regional development and has been among the major reasons behind the outbreak of Tunisia’s revolution. | Tunisia Agency Press

Finance Minister Jalloul Ayed presented the government’s “Jasmine Economic and Social Plan” on Monday in Tunis. | African Manager

Upon invitation of the Tunisian authorities, the European Union is deploying an Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) for the Constituent Assembly elections scheduled for October 23. The mission will be led by Michael Gahler, member of the European Parliament. | Euro-Med Group

SEPTEMBER 20

Chairman of the High Authority for the Achievement of the Revolution Objectives, Political Reform and Democratic Transition Yadh Ben Achour reasserted that he would not accept any political position—of whatever nature—after the October 23 elections. | Tunisia Agency Press

Karl Lamers, head of the parliamentary assembly of NATO, said that the alliance would support Tunisia in its transition to democracy. | AP

SEPTEMBER 19

All parties in the High Authority for Achieving the Objectives of the Revolution signed the “Declaration on Transitional Process” declaration on September 15, except for the party of the Congress for the Republic. | Tunisia Agency Press

After the registration of voters, political parties and independents running for the election of the constituent assembly on October 23 will start presenting the lists of candidates September 7 through September 19. | Tunisia Agency Press

A total of 11,333 candidates will compete on 1,570 lists in 33 constituencies, including six overseas. The 217 seats in the National Constituent Assembly are scheduled to be elected October 23. | Leaders

SEPTEMBER 16

The Unionist Democratic Union (UDU) presented its 29 tickets for the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) elections. | Tunisia Agency Press

Caretaker President Foued Mebazaa on Thursday received Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is paying an official two-day-visit to Tunisia. | Tunisia Agency Press

Tunisian political parties agreed Thursday on a roadmap for the country’s transition to democracy, planning for parliamentary elections in just over a year—a relatively short timeline designed to prevent further instability. | AP

SEPTEMBER 15

The Unionist Democratic Union (UDU) presented its 29 tickets for the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) elections. | Tunisia Agency Press

With several party members and representatives of political parties, civil society, and the media present, the En-Nadha Movement gave a broad outline of its political, economic, and social platform, in Tunis, under the keynote, “For a Free, Just and Developed Tunisia.” | Tunisia Agency Press

SEPTEMBER 14

The en-Nahda party, expected to dominate Tunisia’s first post-revolution polls next month, unveiled a campaign program vowing to build a democracy based on Islamic values. It states that it will protect women from any imposed dress code in Tunisia. | al-Ahram

Ahmed Néjib Chebbi, one of the founders of the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP), on Monday announced his refusal to abide by the decision of the Independent High Authority for the Elections (IHAE) banning political advertising. | Tunisia Agency Press

Caretaker Prime Minister Beji Caid Sebsi received Yadh Ben Achour, the head of the Higher Authority for Achievement of the Revolution’s Objectives, to learn about an initiative launched by twelve parties to limit the powers and terms of the constituent assembly, which will be elected in October. | Tunisia Agency Press

SEPTEMBER 13

On Tuesday, 1,300 of 1,600 tickets (from parties, coalitions, and independents) were approved during the draw for the electoral campaign’s schedule on national radio and television. | Tunisia Agency Press

Tunisia’s en-Nahda calls for a clean and transparent vote. The party’s leader, Rachid Ghannouchi, noted that en-Nahda prefers a parliamentary system for Tunisia rather than a presidential system. En-Nahda gets around 20 percent of the vote in polling, more than any other party. | Associated Press

Just 40 days before elections, one-third of Tunisians do not know who they are going to vote for. | Taiwan News

SEPTEMBER 7

Moncef Marzouki, secretary-general of the Congress for the Republic (CPR), said that Tunisia would not afford a second transitional period after the election of the Constituent Assembly. | Tunisia Agency Press

The executive bureau members of the “New Tunisia Movement” (NTM), meeting on Monday, decided not to take part in the election to the National Constituent Assembly (NCA). | Tunisia Agency Press

SEPTEMBER 6

Interim Prime Minister Béji Caïd Essebsi announced on Tuesday, during a news conference in Tunis, a series of decisions aimed to re-establish security in the country, following the outbreak of violence in some regions. | Tunisia Agency Press

On Monday in Tunis, the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) presented the heads of the lists of its candidates in the National Constituent Assembly’s election. | Tunisia Agency Press

Tunisia banned the security forces from joining unions on Tuesday, prompting hundreds of police to protest against a transitional government that some Tunisians say has betrayed their “Arab Spring” uprising. | Tunisia Agency Press

AUGUST 29

The Higher Independent Authority for Elections (HIAE) is holding a meeting to discuss the legal system of bids for the elections of the National Constituent Assembly. HIAE invited political parties to attend the meeting to discuss this decree-law. | Tunisia Agency Press

Chairman of the Order of Chartered Accountants of Tunisia Neji Hergli stressed the support that could be brought by the organization to the High Authority for Achievement of Revolution Objectives, Political Reform and Democratic Transition in preparing decree-laws on party's funding and monitoring this operation. | Tunisia Agency Press

"We are ready to enter into an alliance with the democratic forces and devise a joint program, to achieve the objectives set and establish a modern and balanced society," stated one of the founders of the Progressive Democrat Party (PDP), Ahmed Néjib Chebbi, on Saturday. | Tunisia Agency Press

AUGUST 26

An uneasy calm is prevailing at the Ras Jedir border crossing with the violent fights taking place between rebels and forces loyal to Gaddafi in the adjoining regions of Zouara and El Aguila. | Tunisia Agency Press

An observatory to monitor the electoral process was launched by the Tunisian Association of Junior Lawyers, in association with national professional organisations and civil society associations. | Tunisia Agency Press

Caretaker President Foued Mebazaa received, at his meeting on Thursday in Carthage with Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Khemaies Jhennaoui,a report on Tunisia's participation in the Arab Peace Initiative Follow-up Committee held last Tuesday in Doha, Qatar. | Tunisia Agency Press

AUGUST 24

The High Authority for Achievement of Revolution Objectives, Political Reform and Democratic Transition adopted a draft law on associations on Wednesday. | Tunisia Agency Press

The movement of Citizenship and Justice and the Democratic Centre Party announced on Wednesday their integration into the Tunisian Labour Party (PTT). | Tunisia Agency Press

Al Majd Party Chairman Abelwahab el Héni emphasized on Tuesday the need to make the next elections a success and to ensure massive participation on polling day, in order to thwart those who want to undermine the Revolution. | Tunisia Agency Press

AUGUST 23

The European Union announced Tuesday 110 million euros ($160 million) in aid aimed at boosting Tunisia's economy as part of political support for its revolution early in the 'Arab Spring.' | AFP

The number of lawsuits against former President Ben Ali, his family, and his relatives reached 159, including cases under which contracts were granted in dubious circumstances to foreign companies for realization of infrastructure projects in Tunisia. | Tunisia Agency Press

Secretary-General of the "Al-Watan" party Mohamed Jegham emphasized the importance of the elections of the Constituent Assembly scheduled for October 23, 2011, since the "success of the Revolution depends on the success of these elections." | Tunisia Agency Press

AUGUST 22

Three new parties were authorized in Tunisia, bringing to 105 the total number of legal parties. | Tunisia Agency Press

Official Spokesman for the Modernist Democratic Pole (PDM) Jounaidi Abdeljaoued warned, Saturday evening, against dangers that threaten the gains of the Tunisian Revolution. He called on political parties and all components of the civil society to address these threats to ensure the holding of the Constituent Assembly election in the scheduled date on October 23. | Tunisia Agency Press

Tunisia's Foreign Ministry has recognized the Libyan rebels' National Transitional Council as the sole legitimate representative of the Libyan people. | Associated Press

AUGUST 19

The speech delivered by Caretaker Prime Minister Béji Caïd Essebsi during a meeting held on Thursday morning in Tunis, has nursed the fears that the Interim Government would fail to treat the various national issues and files, the political parties' leaders who had boycotted the meeting pointed out. | Tunisia Agency Press

The High Authority for the Achievement of the Revolution Objectives, Political Reform and Democratic Transition decided, for lack of quorum, to postpone the adoption of the draft decree-law on associations to the meeting of next August 24, High Authority Deputy Chairwoman Latifa Lakhdar announced. | Tunisia Agency Press

AUGUST 18

Confronted with widespread public discontent, Tunisian Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi on Thursday defended his government's record and said it was doing "the impossible" to bring about elections. | France 24; Tunisia Agency Press

First Secretary of Ettajdid Movement Ahmed Ibrahim said the success of the process of democratic transition is possible only after breaking with the system of oppression and corruption and the election of a Higher Council of the Judiciary and the creation of a judicial department specialized in corruption cases.| Tunisia Agency Press

Caretaker Prime Minister Béji Caïd Essebsi received, on Wednesday in Tunis, twelve officials of political parties represented in the High Authority for the Achievement of Revolution Objectives, Political Reform and Democratic Transition. | Tunisia Agency Press

AUGUST 17

Political parties called, on Tuesday, for a referendum on the nature of the political system. The call was signed by the Movement of Free Youth of Tunisia (MJLT), the Movement for Reform and Social Justice (MRJS), the Party of Freedom for Justice and Development (PLJD) and the Party of Independence for Freedom (PIL).| Tunisia Agency Press

Under the name "Platform for Joint Action," four political parties, including el-Nahda and the Congress for the Republic, published a document on Tuesday containing a set of principles and guidelines on the current situation in the country. | Tunisia Agency Press

Tunisia’s interim Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi is to address the nation on Thursday on upcoming elections after police clashed with protesters decrying a lack of political reforms. | Middle East Online

AUGUST 16

The political and social situation in the country was the focal point of the meeting held on Tuesday, between caretaker Prime Minister Béji Caid Essebsi and Chairman of the Tunisian League for Human Rights (LTDH) Mokhtar Trifi, President of the Bar Abderrazak Kilani and Secretary-General of the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) Abdessalem Jerad. | Tunisia Agency Press

Thousands of Tunisians took to the streets across the country on Monday to warn the government it would face the same fate as the Ben Ali regime unless it bolsters civil rights and settles accounts with the old order.| Morning Star

People are continuing to flee Libya and Tunisia for a variety of reasons, the United Nations refugee agency reported today, noting that almost 2,000 people arrived on the Italian island of Lampedusa over the weekend from the two North African nations. | UN News Center

AUGUST 15

The Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT), The National Lawyers' Board and the Tunisian Human Rights League (LTDH) called on influential players on the national scene, namely the political parties and civil society, to respect the democratic principles in the settlement of conflicts to ensure success of next October 23 Constituent Assembly's elections. | Tunisia Agency Press

During a joint meeting with the press, organized on Saturday in Tunis, the presidents and the secretaries-general of the Maghrebi Liberal Party, the Modern Left Party and the People's Party for Freedom and Progress announced a series of political and social initiatives. | Tunisia Agency Press

A mass march was staged on Monday at the initiative of a group of lawyers and judges for the independency of the judiciary, with the participation of citizens and political figures. | Tunisia Agency Press

AUGUST 11

The High Authority for the Achievement of the Revolution Objectives (HAARO) resumed its works on Thursday morning and spoke with a group of 25 lawyers on the subject of bringing to justice members of the former regime. | Tunisia Agency Press

The first national congress of the Democratic Party for Justice and Prosperity (DPJP) was held Thursday, on the theme “Democracy, Justice and Prosperity.”| Tunisia Agency Press

The feared security chief of ousted President Zine al-Abdine Ben Ali begged Tunisians for forgiveness during a court appearance on Wednesday. | Reuters

AUGUST 10

The trial of the relatives of ousted president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali and his wife involved in the “Carthage Airport Case” resumed on Wednesday morning at the Tunis First Instance Court. | Tunisia Agency Press

The governorate of Ben Arous reported the highest rate of registration on the electoral roll nationwide.| Tunisian Agency Press

AUGUST 9

The interim president, Fouad Mebazaa, stressed the imperative to further develop the efficiency of judicial institutions. | Tunisia Agency Press

Interim Prime Minister Béji Caïd Essebsi met with Wided Bouchamaoui, chairwoman of the Tunisian Chamber of Commerce (UTICA). They discussed improving the business climate in Tunisia in light of the recent sit-ins, strikes, and demonstrations. | Tunisia Agency Press

A Tunisian government expropriation commission has seized 234 luxury vehicles owned by allies and relatives of toppled president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. | Khaleej Times

AUGUST 8

Political parties, organizations, and independent personalities called on the interim government to organize the Constituent Assembly’s elections in optimum conditions, reestablish security in the different regions, and speed up the former regime trials to promote transitional justice. | Tunisia Agency Press

The Democratic Forum for Labor and Liberties (FDTL) released its political platform and called for a presidential regime with limited prerogatives, based on the principle of separation of powers, an independent judiciary system, and free and pluralist information. | Tunisia Agency Press

Hundreds of people demonstrated in central Tunis Monday to demand that members of the toppled Ben Ali regime be stopped from re-entering the political scene or escaping justice for alleged crimes. | AFP

AUGUST 5

Yadh Ben Achour, the head of the Higher Authority for the Achievement of the Revolution’s Objectives for Political Reform and Transition, met with five political parties on Friday, including Ennahda. The participants discussed the upcoming elections, international monitors, and the legal framework. | Tunisia Agency Press

Five political parties--namely the Congress for the Republic (CPR), the “Ennahda” Movement, the Movement of Reform and Development, the People's Unity Movement, and the People's Unionist Progressive Movement--called on Tunisians to register to vote. | Tunisia Agency Press

The Finance Ministry announced, on Thursday, a negative growth of less than 3 percent (-3 percent) for the first half of 2011 because of the regression of tourism receipts and industrial production. | Tunisia Agency Press

AUGUST 4

The High Authority for the Achievement of the Revolution Objectives, Political Reform and Democratic Transition (HAARO) adopted the draft decree-law on the organization of political parties and prohibited corporate donations to political parties. The draft did not take into consideration the amendments submitted by the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP), which would have capped donations at 60,000 dinars. | Tunisia Agency Press; Leaders

Verbal scuffles were a part of the session of the HAARO on Thursday after a proposal by the parties to prohibit journalists from attending or assigning them seating were discussed. Soufia Hammami left the meeting after its chairman, Yadh Ben Achour, refused to allow her to speak on the issue. | Leaders; Tunisia Business News

Rachid Ghannouchi, the chairman of Ennahda, met with Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi and said that it was a time to put an end to all provocations and to sanitize the tense political environment. He praised the October 23 date for elections, which he had previously criticized. | Tunisia Agency Press

AUGUST 3

Democratic Forum for Labour and Democracy (FDTL) General Secretary Mustapha Ben Jaafar called for respecting the date of the National Constituent Assembly's election, which is scheduled for October 23. | Tunisia Agency Press

Ettajdid Movement first secretary Ahmed Ibrahim called for “the need to remain objective and neutral, not to use religion as an instrument to influence voters, and to protect the freedom of the vote.” | Tunisia Agency Press

The Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) voiced strong concern about the situation in Syria, notably after last Sunday’s incidents left 140 demonstrators as victims, following the intervention of the Syrian army forces in the different cities of the country. | Tunisia Agency Press

JULY 29

The High Authority for the Achievement of Revolution Objectives postponed adopting the draft decree-law on political party organization. The High Authority suggested that the decision to adopt the decree-law was pending the return of members who withdrew from the authority in protest to maintain consensus. | TAP

The son-in-law of ousted president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Sakher el-Materi was sentenced to sixteen years in prison, while Ben Ali’s nephew, Sofiene Ben Ali, received two years in prison and 2,000 dinars in fines. | TAP (1); (2)

JULY 28

The High Independent Authority for Elections announced that Tunisian expatriates would be allowed to vote on October 20-22 in over 470 locations abroad. | TAP

JULY 27

The state of emergency will be extended indefinitely starting August 1, according to a decree by the interim president. Concerns over the restoration of public security rose after violence broke out during recent protests. | TAP

Although the number of registered voters reached 1 million today, according to the Higher Independent Authority for Elections, reports of low demand and slow pace of the voter registration process for the Constituent Assembly raised concerns about the confidence and credibility of the interim government’s commitment to democratic transition. | TAP; Al Jazeera

JULY 26

Twenty-three individuals affiliated with the deposed leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali appeared in court today after they were caught with large amounts of foreign currency while trying to flee the country on January 14. Among those on trial are Ben Ali’s former security chief, Ali Seriati, and the former president’s wife’s nephew, Imed Trabelsi. | AFP

A coalition of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) announced that a media monitoring program to follow media coverage of the electoral process at intervals would be launched over the course of six months. The program will consist of three phases: the pre-electoral, election campaign, and post-electoral periods. It aims to measure the impartiality of written and electronic press, as well as private and public radio stations and television channels. | TAP

JULY 25

The International Federation for Human Rights revealed in a report that the practice of torture and arbitrary arrest has persisted despite efforts by the Interior Ministry to eradicate ill treatment of prisoners. Detained demonstrators issued complaints to the Tunisian Association Against Torture and accused security officials of torturing them. They expressed anger over the interim government’s failure to take the proper steps to punish the perpetrators. The human rights report came amid growing frustration over the government’s failure to fulfill the goals of the revolution. | Al Jazeera

The total number of registered voters for the National Constituent Assembly election reached 567,000, with 104,000 new voters. The secretary-general of the Higher Independent Authority for Elections said that the influx of registered voters was an indication that the Tunisian people were confident in the electoral process. | TAP

Chairman of the High Authority Yadh Ben Achour met with Ennahda Movement leaders to convince the party to return to the commission. Ben Achour discussed “fears of the Tunisian society” regarding Ennahda’s position on shari’a law and its stance on separation between politics and religion. The leader of the High Authority also said he was considering Ennahda’s request to expand representation within the High Authority, prepare an agenda leading up to election day, and operate under consensus rather than vote. | TAP

JULY 22

Thousands of people marched in Tunis to condemn the recent acts of violence that swept through the country and to call on the National Constituent Assembly election to be held on its scheduled date. The Ennahda Movement boycotted the protests after Islamists were blamed for the clashes between protesters and security officers. Secularist parties, including the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP), endorsed today’s rally, where protesters chanted slogans to uphold the revolution objectives. | Al Jazeera; TAP

The Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) rejoined the High Authority for the Achievement of Revolution Objectives after the commission’s chairman, Yadh Ben Achour, offered to set up a committee to resolve the dispute on an article in the political party organization draft decree-law. The PDP argued that banning the funding of parties by legal persons would promote money laundering, but party representatives decided to return to the High Authority after discussing adjustments to the decree-law. | TAP

JULY 21

The Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) withdrew from the High Authority for the Achievement of Revolution Objectives, Political Reform and Democratic Transition in protest of the political party draft-decree law. The party alleged that the bill was adopted prior to announcing the results of the vote, and questioned the process of voting. The PDP also criticized the High Authority’s non-inclusive nature after its proposal to finance political parties by legal entities was dismissed without consultation. | UPI; TAP

The political party draft decree-law that the High Authority for the Achievement of Revolution Objectives, Political Reform and Democratic Transition adopted by an overwhelming majority prohibits “any foreign funding, direct or indirect” of political parties and non-state subsidies. The bill contains 30 articles, and will be presented to the interim government for approval. | AFP

The trial of deposed President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, his daughter, and son-in-law on charges of corruption and property fraud was postponed to July 28. The two new trials that began today against Ben Ali accuse him of abuse of power and two different instances of securing land for his family at below-market prices. | TAP; Washington Post

JULY 20

The High Authority for the Achievement of Revolution Objectives, Political Reform and Democratic Transition voted to adopt a draft decree-law for the organization of political parties. | TAP

Rachid Ghannouchi, leader of the Ennahda Movement, denied any involvement in the recent violent protests in the capital and other cities. Interim Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi blamed Islamic extremist parties for the riots. Several political parties, including the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP), criticized protesters’ calls for the fall of the interim government. The Al-Majd Party, however, expressed disappointment in the prime minister’s speech on the events, adding that the interim government was not serious about holding those responsible for the death of protesters accountable. | Daily Star; Al Jazeera

JULY 19

Interim Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi accused protesters, who engaged in recent demonstrations that resulted in violence, of sabotaging the upcoming elections in October. He also vowed that elections would take place as planned. The Interior Ministry, meanwhile, accused some political parties of igniting violence in several cities. He said that some parties sought to create a security vacuum and urged others to denounce the recent violence. | Voice of America; TAP

The chairman of the Congress for the Republic (CPR) Party, Moncef Marzouki, announced that his party would join a new alliance with two other parties. He added that although his party did not call for the Kasbah III sit-in, it endorsed its “legitimate claims.” | TAP

JULY 18

Violence broke out in several towns including Sidi Bouzaid, where a 14-year-old boy was killed by police forces. The riots took place after nearly 200 youths set a police station on fire in the Intilaka district. Four officers were also wounded in the town of Menzel Bourguiba after rioters clashed with the police, who used teargas to disperse the crowds. The incidents were blamed on Islamic extremists amid tensions between secularists and religious forces. | New York Times; BBC

The interim prime minister, Beji Caid Essebsi, reportedly registered his name for the National Constituent Assembly elections in the Soukra constituency. | Essahafa

About 1,000 to 2,000 people attended a national reconciliation rally held by the Ennahda Movement in Monastir, the hometown of the late Habib Bourguiba, against “partisan and ideological conflicts.” | AFP

JULY 15

Over 700 protesters gathered in Kasbah Square to demonstrate against what they called the interim government’s failure to fulfill the goals of the Jasmine Revolution, but they were quickly dispersed by hundreds of police officers who used teargas to break up the demonstration. Protests also took place in other parts of the country including Sidi Bouzid, where vegetable seller Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire last December. | Reuters

The president of the High Authority for the Achievement of Revolution Objectives (HAARO), Yadh Ben Achour, said he was ready to resign if the High Authority voted for him to step down. His statement came after lawyer Mohktar Yahyaoui called on the Ben Achour to resign in the Tunisian press. | TAP

The World Bank approved a $50 million loan to small firms in Tunisia as part of its micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) project to create jobs for young people and boost small businesses. | People’s Daily

JULY 14

The National Union of Tunisian Journalists (SNJT) criticized a proposed new press law, which the organization a described as “restraining” and “inadmissible.” The law includes a provision that criminalizes revealing the identity of national security officials, army officers, and customs agents. The bill also subjects journalists to a fine of 1,000 to 2,000 dinars if they violate the code. The legislation bars the Ministry of Interior from intervening in journalism and allows the judicial system to settle press freedom issues. | Magharebia

Interim Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi described the economic situation in the country as “dire” and urged employees who have gone on strikes and protests throughout the country to return to work. He attributed the deterioration in the economy to labor strikes. | UPI; AFP

JULY 13

According to a recent poll, only 46 percent of Tunisians approve of the transition process—down from 79 percent in a poll conducted in March. Fifty-nine percent also believe that the interim government is capable of solving current problems, as opposed to the 82 percent of Tunisians who believed so in March. | Al Jazeera

Interim Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi condemned parties that pulled out of the High Authority due to differences and reaffirmed his efforts to contact those parties to convince them to return; he also urged them to reconsider their withdrawal. | TAP; AFP

JULY 12

Béchir Tekkari, justice minister and higher education minister under the Ben Ali regime, has been arrested. | Tunisia News Agency

JULY 11

Ennahda Chairman Rached Ghannouchi criticized the High Authority for the Achievement of Revolution Objectives, Political Reform and Democratic Transition for “presenting itself as a parliament in charge of promulgating laws” and straying from the real objective of organizing Constituent Assembly elections.| Tunisia News Agency

A voter registration campaign began in preparation for the October 23 election of a Constituent Assembly. | Tunisian News Agency

JULY 10

Tunisian resorts are empty as tourism to the country has plunged. The National Office of Tourism on Tuesday announced that 3,000 jobs have been lost so far this year in the tourist sector, which accounts for 7 percent of Tunisia's gross domestic product and usually employs 400,000 people. | AFP

JULY 7

According to a poll conducted in June, two out of three eligible Tunisian voters are undecided about who they will vote for in the Constituent Assembly elections. Fourteen percent said they planned to vote for the Ennahda Movement, 5 percent for the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP), 2 percent for the FDTL (Democratic Front for Labor and Freedoms), and 1 percent for Congress for the Republic (CPR) and the Tunisian Workers’ Communist Party (PCOT). Seventy-one percent of Tunisians cited Ennahda, making it the best known political party. | Essahafa; TAP

The Amazigh community has been mobilizing through social media outlets to campaign for the inclusion of two articles in the new draft of the constitution. The first article stated that Tunisia is a free, independent, and sovereign state with Islam as its religion and Arabic as its language with a republican form of government, similar to the principle now stated in the Republican Pact. The second article activists are lobbying to include would recognize the Amazigh language and culture as part of the national identity. | Magharebia

JULY 6

The High Authority for the Achievement of Revolution Objectives held a meeting to reach a consensus and discuss the status of the authority following the withdrawal of the Ennahda Movement and the Congress Party for the Republic. | TAP

New charges against ousted president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and his son-in-law, Sakher el-Matri, were filed at the appellate court in Tunis. The charges relate to abuse of power and encroachment on regulations. | TAP

JULY 5

The chairman of the Congress Party for the Republic (PCR), Moncef Marzouki, announced the suspension of his party’s membership from the High Authority for the Achievement of Revolution Objectives, Political Reform and Democratic Transition (HAARO) because of the commission’s inability to settle important issues and focus on marginal issues. He also said that he began to consult with other political parties to form a “national front for the achievement of the Tunisian Revolution objectives.” | TAP

Ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was sentenced to more than fifteen years in prison and fined $72,000 for smuggling drugs, guns, and archaeological artificats. Ben Ali’s lawyers also withdrew from the trial because of his absence. | New York Times; TAP

JULY 1

The justice ministry announced that it has been working to reform the “Terrorism Law” under the supervision of a special committee of judges to rewrite the law. The new draft will allow the government to abide by international charters as well as ensure citizens’ freedoms, particularly with regard to the issue of national interests, which was often used politically under Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s regime. | Al Jazeera

The president of al-Majd party, Abdelwaheb al-Heni, called for a national conference of political parties to set up a “national council of political parties.” The council would oversee government actions and put an end to unilateral decisions by the High Authority. | TAP

JUNE 30

The High Authority for the Achievement of Revolution Objectives adopted a draft of the Republican Pact today. | TAP

The second trial of ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was postponed to July 4 due to a three-day strike by judges, who are protesting against threats and harassment from the justice ministry. The Tunisian Magistrate Syndicate (SMT) leader, Boubaker Souguir, said that the ministry’s use of “low and humiliating methods” against judges has not ceased, despite the revolution. | AFP

The Independent High Authority for Elections set a schedule for the months leading up to National Constituent Assembly election, with registration set to open July 11 and close on August 2. The electoral campaign will begin on October 1 and end on October 21. | TAP

JUNE 29

Deposed president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali faces new charges for weapon possession and drug trafficking after receiving thirty-five years in prison for embezzlement charges. A three-day strike held by judges, however, may delay the date of Ben Ali’s trial for additional charges, scheduled for Thursday. | AFP; UPI

Ennahda Movement leader Rachid Ghannouchi warned that any future Tunisian government that excludes Islamists would be “weak.” He added that a credible democratic transition should incorporate a power-sharing deal between Islamists and other political forces, and he described his party’s withdrawal from the High Authority for the Achievement of Revolution Objectives as a major blow to the legitimacy of the independent commission. | AFP

Police arrested 26 Islamists, who were demanding the release of seven fundamentalists. The Islamists clashed with a group of secularist lawyers in front of the Justice Ministry. The incident came in response to the arrest of seven Salafists, who stormed a cinema to protest a film showing last week. | Reuters

JUNE 28

Rachid Ghannouchi, the Ennahda Movement’s leader, announced his party’s official and final withdrawal from the High Authority for the Achievement of Revolution Objectives in a press conference, where he accused a minority within the authority of exercising tyranny over the majority. He cited the body’s lack of popular legitimacy as a main reason for his party’s withdrawal. | Al Jazeera; AFP

Between 14,000 and 18,000 individuals have been banned from running in the National Constituent Assembly election because of their affiliations with the dissolved Constitutional Democratic Rally (RCD). The commission in charge of elections is also preparing a list of persons who supported ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s bid for reelection in 2014 to exclude them from the upcoming elections. | TAP

The Ministry of Culture condemned the recent attacks by a group of Salafists, who stormed a movie theater and attacked cultural figures and rights activists in a protest. The ministry said that these actions threatened national interests. | UPI

JUNE 27

Imed Trabelsi, the nephew of ousted president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, saw his sentence doubled after he appealed it. He was originally sentenced to two years in prison and $1,440 in fines for possession and consumption of drugs, but the Tunis Court of Appeals added two more years to his sentence and increased his fine to $2,160. | CNN

Tunisia became the first North African country and also the 116th signatory to the Rome Statute that established the International Criminal Court, the world’s first permanent war crimes court. | The United Nations

The Interior Ministry has so far licensed 86 new political parties, 122 new publications, and 158 new associations since the revolution. The total number of parties reached 94, and the ministry said that 31 new applications were being reviewed while 118 parties were rejected for failing to comply with the law that prohibits parties based on religion, language, sex, or region. | TAP

JUNE 24

The Tunisian interim government requested to be admitted to the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) as both a member and a recipient country. The EBRD had expressed interested in investing in democratizing North African countries. | Reuters

An interim cabinet meeting today adopted several draft-decree laws that would provide for the organization of lawyers; allow credit institutions to check legal records of beneficiaries of the general amnesty of crimes of uncovered checks; cancel late payment fines regarding contributions to social welfare in the last year; and create a national committee to manage frozen funds and assets for the benefit of the state. | TAP 

Protesters have been holding a sit-in in the capital in a renewed call to restore the principles of the revolution, dubbed the “Sit-in of Determination.” They demanded the independence of the judiciary and swift punishment of those who fired at protesters during the revolution, as well as the resignation of the justice and interior ministers. They also criticized the number of legalized political parties, which exceeds 100, calling it a way to factionalize political forces. | Al Jazeera 

JUNE 23

Ennahda Movement representatives boycotted a session of the High Authority for the Achievement of the Revolution Objectives, Political Reform and Democratic Transition (HAARO) dedicated to drafting a decree-law on the organization of political parties. A representative of the Islamist movement said that his party will reconsider its stance with the authority and decide whether to suspend its participation in the independent body. | TAP; Middle East Online

Ennahda Movement representatives boycotted a session of the High Authority for the Achievement of the Revolution Objectives, Political Reform and Democratic Transition (HAARO) dedicated to drafting a decree-law on the organization of political parties. A representative of the Islamist movement said that his party will reconsider its stance with the authority and decide whether to suspend its participation in the independent body. | TAP; Middle East Online

JUNE 21

Ousted President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali and his wife, Leila Trabelsi, were sentenced to thirty-five years in prison in absentia on charges of theft and unlawful possession of cash and jewelry. They were also fined 91 million Tunisian dinars. A defiant Ben Ali also said he never resigned or fled the country and was instead “tricked” into leaving. | TAP; Al-Bayan

JUNE 20

Interim Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi announced that a new constitution would be adopted by 2012 and within six months of the National Constituent Assembly elections scheduled for October 23. | AFP

Registration for electoral lists in the National Constituent Assembly elections will begin on July 11 and end on October 23. | Essahafa

The chairman of the National Fact-Finding Committee into Corruption and Embezzlement, Abdelfattah Amor, said that a total of 124 cases have been submitted to the committee, 50 of which relate to the deposed president and his family. He also announced that a draft decree-law on indemnification and denunciation in corruption and embezzlement was being prepared to prosecute individuals implicated in abuses and benefits from illegal activities over the last twenty-three years. | TAP

JUNE 17

Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s Paris-based attorney, Jean-Yves Leborgne denied the charges against the ousted president, calling the trial politically motivated. The Tunis court where Ben Ali will be tried assigned two Tunisian lawyers to defend him and his wife. | Washington Post; TAP

JUNE 16

The Ministry of Interior has so far granted licenses for 88 newspapers and magazines, and the National Authority for Information and Communication Reform (NAICR) is reviewing 74 other applications from the radio and broadcast sector. Critics have called for more reform in the media, including a new press code. | CNN

The ousted president, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, whose trial begins on June 20, faces 90 charges against him. | Al Quds

JUNE 14

Interim Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi announced that the trial of ousted President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali would begin on June 20 in absentia. Many opposition figures criticized the interim government’s decision to try Ben Ali in absentia, arguing it was not a serious attempt at bringing him in and holding him accountable. | Wall Street Journal

A recent poll showed that 52.5 percent of Tunisians thought the decision to delay the elections was reasonable. The poll also ranked the Ennahda Movement and the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) as the top two parties that Tunisians intend to vote for in the Constituent Assembly elections. Essebsi, Ennahda leader Rachid Ghannouchi, and PDP’s Ahmed Nejib Chebbi were the three most trustworthy politicians, according to the poll.| Asharq al-Awsat

The Egyptian government called on banks to freeze the assets of Ben Ali and his wife Layla al-Taraboulsi after the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) received a notification from the Foreign Ministry to freeze their assets along with others. | Al-Masry Al-Youm

JUNE 13

Nearly 150 people protested in the capital calling for the release of a police official, Samir Feriani, who was jailed for releasing confidential information after publicly criticizing the Interior Ministry. They also demanded that interim Interior Minister al-Habib al-Seid resign for practicing repressive measures akin to the ousted regime. | Reuters; UPI

The Ennahda Movement accused the interim government of being too slow to implement the decree that grants general amnesty to its political prisoners. The decree was signed on February 19, but hundreds of Ennahda Islamists have yet to receive amnesty. | Asharq al-Awsat

JUNE 10

Iyadh Ben Achour, the chairman of the High Authority for the Achievement of Revolution Objectives, accused some political parties of launching an “unfair campaign” against the independent body. Some criticisms by parties included “the slowness and incoherence” of the high authority. | TAP

JUNE 8

Interim Prime Minister Essebsi announced October 23 as the official date of the National Constituent Assembly elections in order to ensure transparency. The majority of political parties endorsed the decision, while Ennahda Movement leader Nourredin al-Bihiri said that the delay was a political rather than a logistical resolution. He added, however, that his party will respect the interim government’s decision. | TAP; Elaph

According to some sources, tribal clashes in Melaoui were sparked by militant elements of the former ruling party RCD. Eighteen individuals who were arrested during the altercation had affiliations with the dissolved party. | Ash-shorouk

The Interior Ministry granted security forces officers a license to form the “National Standard Union for Internal Security Forces.” | al-Bayan

JUNE 7

Interim Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi will announce a settlement on the election date of the National Constituent Assembly on June 8. The High Independent Authority for Elections recommended a delay from July 24 to October 16. | Middle East Online

Authorities arrested 87 individuals involved in the violence that broke out in the southwest town of Metlaoui. | AFP

JUNE 6

Tribal clashes that began with an altercation between two youths in the southern mining town of Metlaoui resulted in eleven deaths and more than 100 injured. Security forces were deployed and a curfew was imposed on the town. | Aljazeera English

Ennahda leader Rachid Ghannouchi expressed concern over the possibility of cancelling the National Constituent Assembly elections. He accused some political actors, who have called for the postponement of the election, of sabotaging the electoral process in fear of their performance in the ballot box. | Reuters

The “Initiative for the Republic” became the third political party coalition to form ahead of the Constituent Assembly election. The coalition, which includes 25 parties, called for drafting several constitutions and putting them to a referendum. | Kuwait News Agency; TAP

JUNE 3

Hammadi Jebali, Secretary-General of Ennahda Movement, accused the High Authority for the Achievement of Revolution Objectives of deviating from its mission, adding that it “has encroached on a legitimacy that could not be accepted by the Tunisian people.” | TAP

Justice Minister Kadhem Zine el Abidine said that Ben Ali and his wife will be tried in absentia before the end of the month. | Canadian Press

El Majd Party announced its endorsement of decisions made by the High Independent Authority for Elections hinting at support for a postponement of the Constituent Assembly election date. The Democratic Front for Labor and Freedoms party (FDTL) also endorsed the delay. | TAP

JUNE 2

Abdessalam Jrad, secretary general of the Tunisian General Labor Union (UGTT), met with interim Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi, and stated it was more imperative to have the proper conditions to hold a successful election than to focus on the date. | TAP

The Ministry of Justice appointed Farhat Rajhi as the chief of the Court of Cassation. Rajhi previously served as an interim interior minister and head of the High Authority for Human Rights and Fundamental Freedom. | Essahafa

The High Independent Authority for Elections began accepting applications for regional wards in constituencies nationwide, in preparations for the Constituent Assembly elections. | TAP

JUNE 1

The High Authority for the Achievement of Revolution Objectives announced that the Constituent Assembly would consist of 218 seats, including 19 seats for expatriates. There would be a total of 33 constituencies, including six abroad. Two commissions were also set up to draft a new republican pact and create the criteria for ineligible candidates. | TAP

Nine political parties have formed the “Democratic and Modernist Coalition” in order to challenge Islamist groups and former regime loyalists. Among the parties are the Ettajdid Movement, Unionist Popular Front, and the Socialist Party. | AFP

MAY 31

The Ennahda Party suspended its membership from the High Authority for the Achievement of Revolution Objectives, Political Reform and Democratic Transition in protest to the disagreement on the date of the Constituent Assembly elections. | TAP

The office of the interim president denied proposing a new date to the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) elections, and the interim cabinet expressed its openness to negotiations about the date. | TAP (1); (2)

The Ministry of Interior released a statement denouncing the smear campaigns against its officials, some of whom were named individually for undermining the country’s security. The statement also requested a meeting with the Higher Council of Home Security Forces, to be held on Friday. | TAP

MAY 27

The Interior Ministry has so far granted license to 81 political parties. | TAP

The majority of parties have come out in support of a delay in the date of the Constituent Assembly election to October, citing the legitimacy of the High Independent Election Committee’s decision. | TAP

MAY 26

The chairman of the High Independent Authority for Elections, Kamel Jandoubi, said that elections would take place on October 16 despite a declaration by the interim government that the election date would remain July 24.  Some political parties including Ennahda, the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP), and Congress for the Republic criticized the election committee’s announcement, while the Democratic Forum for Freedom and Labor (FDTL) and others supported the delay. | Reuters

MAY 23

The High Authority for Elections suggested delaying the Constituent Assembly elections to October 16 in order to help ensure a transparent process. | TAP

The Higher Judiciary Council rejected a request to waive the immunity of former interior minister Farhat Rajhi, a decision welcomed by the Tunisian Judges’ Association. | TAP

Officials requested that the UAE and Qatar freeze the assets of former President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali and his family members. | Reuters

MAY 20

Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi said that Tunisia needs $25 billion over the next five years and is counting on donor nations to help make up the budget shortfall ahead of the G8 Summit. | Reuters

The annual Jewish pilgrimage to the Ghriba synagogue in Djerba was cancelled for security reasons. | Magharebia

MAY 19

Judges directed strong criticism against the Ministry of Justice’s decision to keep the High Judicial Council of Judges intact after the fall of former President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali’s regime. The judges demanded that the council be dissolved and that a Council for Judicial Transition be created in its place. The ministry, however, dismissed the judges’ demands. | Al Jazeera

Authorities claimed that suspected al-Qaeda militants who engaged in a gunfight with the army in Rouhia intended to target tourist sites in the country, as they found a Tunisian map with targeted tourist sites marked on it. | AFP

MAY 18

Union strikers at the mobile phone operator Tunisie Telecom demanded the sacking of 63 highly paid contract workers, and a Dubai telecom company expressed concern over its investment in the Tunisian company. | AFP

The Interior and National Defense Ministries lifted the curfew on greater Tunis after protests broke out last week. The state of emergency is still in place. | AFP

MAY 17

The Higher Magistrate Council will examine the call to lift the immunity of the former Interior Minister Judge Farhat Rajhi on May 21. | TAP

The interim cabinet confirmed that the Constituent Assembly election will be held as scheduled on July 24. It also approved several draft decree-laws, including one allowing the formation of an independent professional union for the internal security forces. | TAP

Protesters demanded that Britain’s BG Group, Tunisia’s largest natural gas producer, employ local people rather than foreign workers. The British company threatened to close its plants unless the government stepped in. | Press TV

MAY 16

Former interior minister Farhat Rajhi apologized to the army in a letter published in the official newspaper. He said that he was a victim of a “maneuver aimed at harming the stability of Tunisia” after making inflammatory statements about the army and Ennahda Movement, which sparked protests. | TAP

Mustapha Ben Jaafar, secretary general of the Democratic Front for Labor and Freedoms (FDTL), called for the Constituent Assembly elections to be held as scheduled on July 24 to establish legitimacy and avoid further instability and security concerns. The Ennahda Movement also supports holding the elections on time. |TAP (1) and (2)

MAY 13

Leftist political parties accused the interim government of stalling the transition process to hold scheduled elections on July 24 for the Constituent Assembly. The accusation was made in light of the recent security failures at protests, which some political parties attribute to groups and agents trying to sabotage the democratic transition and postpone elections. | Al Jazeera

The Tunisian League for the Defense of Human Rights condemned the attack on its secretary general, whose home was ransacked and searched by unknown individuals. The organization warned against the return of old practices by the previous regime and demanded a thorough investigation into the incident. | UPI

MAY 12

The government’s case against former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali—which consists of eighteen charges that include murder, inciting disorder, and plotting against national security—was referred to a military court. The cases of two other high-ranking officials within the former regime were also referred to a military court. | Voice of America

The High Authority Council for the Achievement of Revolution Objectives, Political Reform and Democratic Transition published a statement denouncing violence by police against protestors and brutality against journalists over the past few days. It also denounced the attack on the Tunisian General Labor Union (UGTT) and the use of live bullets. The council called for speedy investigations into cases of corruption and murder. | TAP

The Tunisian Magistrates Association (AMT) announced its withdrawal from the High Authority Council, citing that the law pertaining to the creation of the High Independent Authority for Elections was distorted. The association added that the representation of judges was being undermined within the election council. | TAP

MAY 10

After a fourth day of renewed protests, the Tunisian authorities arrested 197 people and charged them with attacking the police, committing vandalism and theft, and violating curfew hours. Protesters questioned the interim government’s commitment to carrying out the reforms necessary to transition the country into a democracy. | Reuters

Interim Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi called former interior minister Farhat Rajhi—who warned of a military coup that sparked a wave of protests—a liar who deserved to be prosecuted. | AFP

The riot police physically assaulted fifteen local and international journalists who were covering the protests on Friday, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). | CPJ

MAY 9

Following protests against his government on Thursday, Interim Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi highlighted the possibility of delays in setting up a new government, originally scheduled to take place on July 24. Essebsi made a public address stating that, “if the reform committee says there are technical and logistical hitches, there will be another probability to discuss.” | AFP

The Tunisian Ministry of Interior is looking into strengthening protection of journalists after several members of the press were assaulted at the city center on Friday. Practical mechanisms to protect journalists on duty have been discussed and implementation is underway. | TAP 

MAY 8

Amidst rising public unrest, the government has imposed a curfew to run from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. until further notice, claiming that this is necessary to safeguard against the “violence and pillaging” that has been taking place along the outskirts of Tunis. | AP

MAY 6

The Higher Authority for the Achievement of Revolution Objectives, Political Reform and Democratic Transition expressed its support for amending Article 15, which provides for the election of the Constituent Assembly. The High Authority issued a public communiqué confirming its support for the compromise reached by the authority bureau and the interim prime minister on the article. | TAP

MAY 5

Remarks made by former interior minister Farhat Rajhi on Facebook Wednesday led to an uproar and were described by political circles as “grave” and serious threats to national security. Rajhi had written about the reasons behind his dismissal and described businessman Kamel Letaief as “the shadow man who pulls the strings of political life in the country.” | TAP

Former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, his wife, nephew, and other defendants face eighteen charges, which include “instigating disorder, murder and looting” and “plotting against the internal security.” | BBC

A group of lawyers led by Karim Juayhiya called for a trial at the Administrative Court to strip the Ennahda Movement of its license to operate as a political party for its religious affiliation, which contradicts the Tunisian Constitution. |al-Bayan; Asharq al-Awsat

Fifty-eight prisoners escaped from jail, which some officials suspected was a ploy by Ben Ali’s supporters inside the prison system to sabotage the transitional process. | Aljazeera

MAY 4

In a meeting with interim President Fouad Mebazaa, Emir Abdullah bin Zayed of the UAE endorsed the Tunisian revolution, and offered support throughout the transitional period, specifically through bilateral agreements and investments. | Emirates News Agency

France invited Tunisia and Egypt to participate in the G8 summit. | Xinhua

MAY 3

The Financial Sector Workers Union threatened a strike on May 4, 5, and 14 unless its demands, which included the removal of corrupt figures from the past regime, were met. The National Association of Tunisian Judges also called for a general strike on May 5 and a protest on May 14. | Essahafa (1) and (2)

The committee in charge of investigating violations and crimes during the revolution denied the army’s involvement in abuses during the uprising, emphasized the integral role of security in the transitional period, and reaffirmed its commitment to protecting the armed forces’ image. | Essahafa

MAY 2

President Foued Mebazaa addressed the nation on Labor Day, and vowed to focus on preserving jobs and helping businesses overcome the fallout of the revolution. He also called for an employment program that would grant benefits to employed people and university graduates, and provide training to integrate the latter into the job market. | TAP

MAY 1

Rachid Ghannouchi, leader of the Ennahda Party, praised Qatar for playing what he called a vital role in the revolutions in North Africa and in disseminating information at a crucial time in the history of the Arab world. | Elaph

 

 

End of document
 
Source http://carnegieendowment.org/2011/04/28/news-from-tunisia/3hsp

In Fact

 

45%

of the Chinese general public

believe their country should share a global leadership role.

30%

of Indian parliamentarians

have criminal cases pending against them.

140

charter schools in the United States

are linked to Turkey’s Gülen movement.

2.5–5

thousand tons of chemical weapons

are in North Korea’s possession.

92%

of import tariffs

among Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru have been eliminated.

$2.34

trillion a year

is unaccounted for in official Chinese income statistics.

37%

of GDP in oil-exporting Arab countries

comes from the mining sector.

72%

of Europeans and Turks

are opposed to intervention in Syria.

90%

of Russian exports to China

are hydrocarbons; machinery accounts for less than 1%.

13%

of undiscovered oil

is in the Arctic.

17

U.S. government shutdowns

occurred between 1976 and 1996.

40%

of Ukrainians

want an “international economic union” with the EU.

120

million electric bicycles

are used in Chinese cities.

60–70%

of the world’s energy supply

is consumed by cities.

58%

of today’s oils

require unconventional extraction techniques.

67%

of the world's population

will reside in cities by 2050.

50%

of Syria’s population

is expected to be displaced by the end of 2013.

18%

of the U.S. economy

is consumed by healthcare.

81%

of Brazilian protesters

learned about a massive rally via Facebook or Twitter.

32

million cases pending

in India’s judicial system.

1 in 3

Syrians

now needs urgent assistance.

370

political parties

contested India’s last national elections.

70%

of Egypt's labor force

works in the private sector.

70%

of oil consumed in the United States

is for the transportation sector.

20%

of Chechnya’s pre-1994 population

has fled to different parts of the world.

58%

of oil consumed in China

was from foreign sources in 2012.

$536

billion in goods and services

traded between the United States and China in 2012.

$100

billion in foreign investment and oil revenue

have been lost by Iran because of its nuclear program.

4700%

increase in China’s GDP per capita

between 1972 and today.

$11

billion have been spent

to complete the Bushehr nuclear reactor in Iran.

2%

of Iran’s electricity needs

is all the Bushehr nuclear reactor provides.

78

journalists

were imprisoned in Turkey as of August 2012 according to the OSCE.

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