Sunday,19 August, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1127, 20 - 26 December 2012
Sunday,19 August, 2018
Issue 1127, 20 - 26 December 2012

Ahram Weekly


Al-Ahram Weekly


17  Mohamed Bouazizi, a 26-year-old fruit-and-vegetable vendor in the Tunisian town of Sidi Bouzeid, sets fire to himself in front of a local municipal office in protest after being mistreated by police. The first mass demonstrations against the government appear in Sidi Bouzeid.
24  A demonstrator participating in protests against the government is shot by police in the town of Menzel Bouziane.
28  As clashes intensify, Tunisian president Zein Al-Abidine bin Ali appears on state television to condemn the protests, which he says are the work of a few extremists.


12   In an attempt to quell protests and to respond to growing international criticism of Tunisia’s handling of the unrest, Bin Ali dismisses the minister of the interior, Rafik Belhaj Kacem. The move fails to quiet the demonstrations.
13  In another bid to end the demonstrations, Bin Ali appears on state television and offers a wide range of concessions. He announces he will not stand for re-election at the end of his term in 2014 and vows to institute a variety of political, economic and social reforms. The concessions are largely dismissed by protesters as a desperate ploy to remain in power.
14  As the clashes grow more violent, especially in the capital Tunis, Bin Ali declares a state of emergency and promises new legislative elections within six months. The announcement has no effect on the demonstrations, and Bin Ali and his family flee Tunisia.
17  Tunisia’s prime minister, Mohamed Al-Ghannouchi, and interim president, Fouad Mebazaa, announce the composition of a new interim government, incorporating members of the opposition. However, key ministries in the new government are assigned to ministers who served in the same posts during the Bin Ali regime, causing further protests.
19  Tunisian prosecutors open an inquiry into the finances of Bin Ali, who is believed to have amassed a fortune worth billions of dollars through a variety of corrupt practices.
20  The central committee of the Democratic Constitutional Rally (RCD), the ruling party under Bin Ali, is dissolved, and members of the interim government leave the party.
26  Tunisia issues an international warrant for the arrest of Bin Ali.

6  The government suspends the RCD following demonstrations by protesters who claim that too much of the old regime remains intact.
27  Amid continuing protests over the interim government’s links to the Bin Ali regime, Al-Ghannouchi steps down as interim prime minister. He is replaced by Beji Caid Sebsi.
1  The Tunisian government legalises the Al-Nahda Party, an Islamist party banned under the Bin Ali regime, paving the way for it to enter candidates in future elections.
3  Interim president Mebazaa announces that an election to choose a constitutional council will be held on 24 July. Once elected, the council will be tasked with drafting a new constitution.
7  The interim government dissolves Tunisia’s secret police force, which had suppressed political dissent under the Bin Ali regime.
9  A Tunisian court officially dissolves the RCD, liquidating its assets and banning it from participation in any future elections.

14  The Tunisian Ministry of Justice announces that it has filed charges against Bin Ali, including those of manslaughter, drug trafficking and conspiracy against the state.

5  A former minister in the interim government predicts that members of the interim government will stage a coup if the Al-Nahda Party wins in elections. His remarks, dismissed by members of the interim government and representatives of the Al-Nahda Party, trigger several days of street protests.
8  As clashes between police and protesters wind down in Tunis, interim prime minister Sebsi warns that elections could be delayed by logistical and technical issues.
10 An independent electoral body is formed ahead of an election scheduled for 24 July 2011.

8  The interim government postpones the election until 23 October 2011, saying that more time is required to prepare for a credible vote.
20 Bin Ali and his wife, Leila Trabelsi, still in exile in Saudi Ara bia, are convicted in absentia of having embezzled public funds. They are sentenced to 35 years in prison. Bin Ali still faces criminal trials on charges that include official corruption and the ordering of the use of lethal force against protesters.

23  Elections are held to determine the composition of the 217-member constituent assembly, a new body with a mandate to appoint an interim cabinet and draft a new constitution. With voter turnout at nearly 70 per cent, the Islamist Al-Nahda Party emerges as the clear victor, winning 90 seats with more than 40 per cent of the vote.

22  The constituent assembly holds its inaugural session.

Human rights activist Moncef Marzouki is elected president by the constituent assembly, and Al-Nahda leader Hamadi Al-Jebali is sworn in as prime minister.

May: Hundreds of Salafis clash with security forces and attack a police station in Jendouba in a dispute over Salafist attacks on alcohol sellers.

June: Former president Bin Ali is sentenced to life in prison over the killing of protesters in the 2011 revolution. He is living in Saudi Arabia, which refuses to extradite him. The government imposes an overnight curfew in eight areas following riots by Islamists against an art exhibition. One man dies after being shot in the head.

August: Thousands protest in Tunis against moves by the Islamist-led government to reduce women’s rights. The draft constitution refers to women as “complementary to men”, whereas the 1956 constitution granted women full equality with men.

September:  Prime minister Al-Jabali appears on national TV to announce that the government had miscalculated the situation in Tunisia and national reconciliation between political partners within the General Union of Tunisian Workers, the country’s largest trade union. An assault on the US embassy in Tunis by protesters against a US-made film denigrating the Prophet Mohamed leads to clashes leaving five people killed.

October: Tunisia’s coalition troika government proposes a roadmap setting 23 June 2013 as the date for the legislative elections. The General Union of Tunisian Workers announces an initiative for national reconciliation that includes all political parties. Al-Nahda boycotts the conference. There is a general strike in the media, and the army is put on alert.
November: Clashes break out in western Tunis between Salafis and the security forces. Clashes also break out between security forces and protesters in the streets of Siliana and riot police use tear gas, rubber bullets and pellet guns to disperse the demonstrators. There are calls from inside the Al-Nahda Party for a government reshuffle.

December: There is a mounting crisis between the General Union of Tunisian Workers and Al-Nahda Party that ends in calls for a general strike on 13 December. The strike is later cancelled. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton cancels a visit to Tunis and the constituent assembly agrees a law forming an independent elections authority.

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