In the name of God, the Compassionate and Merciful,
We, the representatives of the Tunisian people, meeting as
members of the National Constituent Assembly,
Proclaim the will of this people, set free from foreign
domination thanks to its powerful cohesion and to its struggle
against tyranny, exploitation, and regression;
- to consolidate national unity and to remain faithful to human
values which constitute the common heritage of peoples
attached to human dignity, justice, and liberty, and working
for peace, progress, and free cooperation between nations;
- to remain faithful to the teachings of Islam, to the unity of the
Greater Maghreb, to its membership of the Arab family, to
cooperation with the African peoples in building a better future,
and with all peoples who are struggling for justice and
- to install a democracy founded on the sovereignty of the
people, characterized by a stable political system, and based on
the principle of the separation of powers.
We proclaim that the republican regime constitutes:
- the best guarantee for the respect of rights and duties of all
- the most effective means for assuring the prosperity of the
nation through economic development of the country and the
utilization of its riches for the benefit of the people;
- the most certain way for assuring the protection of the family
and guaranteeing to each citizen work, health, and
We, the representatives of the Tunisian poople, free and
sovereign, proclaim, by the Grace of God, the present
Article 1 [State]
Tunisia is a free State, independent and sovereign; its religion is
the Islam, its language is Arabic, and its form is the Republic.
Article 2 [Arab Nation, Treaties]
(1) The Tunisian Republic constitutes part of the Great Arab
Maghreb, towards whose unity it works within the framework
of common interests.
(2) Treaties concluded to this effect and being of such nature as
to bring about any modification whatsoever to the present
Constitution have to be submitted to a referendum by the
President of the Republic after having been adopted by the
National Parliament in the forms and conditions established by
Article 3 [Sovereignty]
The sovereignty belongs to the Tunisian poople who exercise it
in conformity with the Constitution.
Article 4 [Flag]
The flag of the Tunisian Republic is red; it has in the middle,
under the conditions prescribed by the law, a white circle in
which is displayed a five-pointed star surrounded by a red
Article 5 [Personal Integrity, Conscience, Belief]
The Tunislan Republic guarantees the inviolability of the human
person and freedom of conscience, and protects the free
exercise of beliefs, with reservation that they do not disturb
the public order.
Article 6 [Equality]
All citizens have the same rights and the same duties. They are
equal before the law.
Article 7 [Legitimate Purposes of Restriction]
The citizens exercise the plenitude of their rights in the forms
and conditions established by the law. The exercise of these
rights cannot be limited except by a law enacted for the
protection of others, the respect for the public order, the
national defense, the development of the economy, and social
Article 8 [Expression, Unions]
(1) The liberties of opinion, expression, the press,
publication, assembly, and association are guaranteed and
exercised within the conditions defined by the law.
(2) The right of unionization is guaranteed.
Article 9 [Home, Secrecy of Correspondence]
The inviolability of the home and the secrecy of correspondence
are guaranteed, save in exceptional cases established by the
Article 10 [Move, Domicile]
Every citizen has the right to move freely in the interior of the
territory, to leave it, and to establish his domicile within the
limits established by the law.
Article 11 [Expatriation]
No citizen can be expatriated or prevented from returning to his
Article 12 [Presumption of Innocence]
Every accused person is presumed innocent until his guilt is
established in accordance with a procedure offering him
guarantees indispensable for his defence.
Article 13 [Personal Punishment, Nulla Poena Sine Lege]
The sentence is personal and cannot be pronounced except by
virtue of a law existing prior to the punishable act.
Article 14 [Property]
The right to property is guaranteed. It is exercised within the
limits established by the law.
Article 15 [Duty to Defense]
The defense of the country and the integrity of its territory is a
sacred duty of every citizen.
Article 16 [Duty to Pay Taxes]
The payment of taxes and the contribution to public
expenditures on an equitable basis constitute a duty for every
Article 17 [Asylum]
Political refugees cannot be extradited.
Article 18 [National Parliament]
The people exercise the legislative power through a
representative organ called National Parliament.
Article 19 [Election]
The members of the National Parliament are elected by
universal, free, direct, and secret suffrage, according to the
modalities and conditions determined by the Electoral Law.
Article 20 [Right to Vote]
An electoris every citizen possessing Tunisian nationality for
at least five years and having attained at least twenty years of
Article 21 [Eligibility]
Any voter, born of a Tunisian father, who is at least twenty-five
years of age on the day of submission of his candidacy, is
eligible for election to the National Parliament.
Article 22 [Term, Re-Election]
The National Parliament is elected for a period of five years in
the course of the last thirty days of its mandate.
Article 23 [Continuing Parliament]
In case of impossibility of proceeding with the elections during
the designated time, because of war or imminent peril, the
mandate of the National Parliament is extended by a law until
the time it is possible to proceed with the elections.
Article 24 [Seat]
The seat of the National Parliament is established in Tunis or its
environment. However, under exceptional circumstances, the
National Parliament may hold its sessions in any other place of
the territory of the Republic.
Article 25 [Responsibility]
Every deputy is the representative of the entire Nation.
Article 26 [Indemnity]
A deputy cannot be prosecuted, arrested, or tried for opinions
expressed, proposals made, or acts carried out in the exercise of
his mandate in the National Parliament.
Article 27 [Immunity]
No deputy can be arrested or prosecuted for the duration of his
mandate for a crime or misdemeanor as long as the National
Parliament has not lifed the immunity which covers him.
However, in the event of flagrante delicto, arrest procedure is
permitted, in such a case, the National Parliament is to be
informed without delay. The detention of a deputy is
suspended if the National Parliament so requests.
Article 28 [Legislation]
(1) The National Parliament exercises the legislative power.
The presentation of legislation belongs equally to the
President of the Republic and to the members of the National
Parliament, priority being given to bills presented by the
President of the Republic.
(2) The National Parliament may authorize the President of the
Republic to issue decree-laws within a fixed time limit and for a
specific purpose which must be submitted for ratification to the
National Parliament upon expiration of that time limit.
(3) Organic and ordinary laws are passed by the National
Parliament by absolute majority. A draft organic law may not
be submitted for deliberation by the National Parliament until
afer the expiration of a period of fifteen days from its filing.
(4) Laws considered to be of an organic charcter are those
specified by Articles 4, 8, 9, 10, 66, 67,
68, 69, 70 and 71.
(5) The electoral law has the form of an organic law.
(6) The National Parliament votes on bills concerning financial
laws and the regulation of the budget under the conditions
stipulated in the organic law of the budget. The budget must be
voted at the latest by December 31. If by that date the National
Parliament has not made a decision, the provisions of the
financial bill may be implemented by decree, in trimestrial
Article 29 [Sessions]
(1) The National Parliament meets each year in ordinary session
which begins during the month of October and ends during the
month of July.
(2) However, the first session of every legislature begins during
the first fifteen days of November.
(3) During the vacation, the National Parliament may meet in
extraordinary sessions on the request of the President or the
majority of deputies.
Article 30 [Permanent Committees]
The National Parliament elects from among its members
permanent committees, whose activity is pursued during the
vacation of the National Parliament.
Article 31 [Decree-Laws During Vacation]
During the vacation of the National Parliament, the President of
the Republic may, with the consent of the interested permanent
committee, issue decree-laws which must be submitted to the
ratification by the National Parliament during the next ordinary
Article 32 [Treaties]
Treaties do not have the force of law until after their
ratification. Treaties duly ratified have an authority superior to
Article 33 [Approval of Treaties]
The treaties are approved by law.
Article 34 [Legislative Competences]
Matters relating to the following are regulated in the form of
- the general modalities of the application of the Constitution,
other than those relative to organic laws;
- the creation of offices, public establishments, societies, or
- citizenship, the status of persons, and obligations;
- the procedure before different orders of jurisdiction;
- the determination of crimes and offences and the penalties
which apply to them;
- the basis and rate of taxes for the benefit of the State, except
the delegation accorded to the President by the laws of finances
and fiscal laws;
- the regime of the issuance of money;
- loans and financial obligations of the State;
- the fundamental guarantees accorded to civilian and military
Article 35 [Legislative Competence About Principles]
The law determines the fundamental principles of:
- the regime of property and real rights;
- public health;
- labor law and social security.
Article 36 [Development]
The law approves the development plan. It authorizes the
resources and charges of the State under conditions established
by the organic law of the budget.
[Section 0 General Provision]
Article 37 [Executive Power]
The executive power is vested in the President of the Republic
assisted by a Government directed by a Prime Minister.
Section I The President of the Republic
Article 38 [Head of State]
The President of the Republic is the Head of the State. His
religion is Islam.
Article 39 [Election]
(1) The President of the Republic is elected for five years by
universal, free, direct, and secret sufErage, within the last thirty
days of the term of office and under the conditions specified by
the electoral law.
(2) In case of an impossibility of proceeding with the elections
at the appropriate time, because of war or due to imminent
danger, the term of office of the President is extended by law
until it becomes possible to proceed with the elections. The
President of the Republic may present himself for two
Article 40 [Eligibility]
(1) Any Tunisian who does not carry another nationality, who
is of Moslem religion, and whose father, mother, and paternal
and maternal grandfather have been of Tunisian nationality
without interruption, may present himself as a candidate for the
Presidency of the Republic.
(2) The candidate must, furthermore, be at least forty years and
at most seventy years of age on the day of submitting his
candidacy and must enjoy all his civil and political rights.
(3) The candidate has to be presented by electors in accordance
with the modalities and conditions stipulated by the election
law. The declaration of candidacy must be recorded in a
special register before a commission composed of the President
and the following four members: the President of the National
Parliament, the President of Constitutional Council, the First
President of the Court of Cessation, and the First President of
the Administrative Tribunal. The commission rules on the
validity of the candidacies, the challenges received, and
proclaims the result of the ballot.
Article 41 [Functions]
The President of the Republic is the guarantor of national
independence, of the integrity of the territory, and of respect
for the Constitution and the laws as well as the execution of
treaties. He watches over the regolar functioning of the
constitutional public powers and assures the continuity of the
Article 42 [Oath]
The elected President of the Republic gives the following oath
before the National Parliament:
"I swear by God Allmighty to safeguard the national
independence and the integrity of the territory, to respect the
Constitution and the law, and to watch meticulously over the
interests of the Nation."
Article 43 [Seat of Presidency]
The official seat of the Presidency of the Republic is established
at Tunis and its surroundings. Howover, under exceptional
circomstances, it can be transferred provisionally to any other
location in the territory of the Republic.
Article 44 [Commander-in-Chief]
The President of the Republic is the Supreme Commander of
the Armed Forces.
Article 45 [Diplomacy]
The President of the Republic accredits diplomatic
representatives to foreign powers. The diplomatic
representatives are accredited to him.
Article 46 [Emergency Powers]
(1) In case of imminent peril menacing the institutions of the
Republic, the security and independence of the country and
obstructing the regular functioning of the public powers, the
President of the Republic may take the exceptional measures
necessitated by the circumstances, after consultation with the
Prime Minister and the President of the National Parliament.
(2) During this period, the President of the Republic may not
dissolve the National Parliament and no motion of censure may
be presented against the Governwent.
(3) These measures ccase to have effect as soon as the
circumstances that produced them come to an end. The
President of the Republic addresses a message to the National
Parliament on this subject.
Article 47 [Referendum]
(1) The President of the Republic may submit to a
any bill relating to the organization of the public
powers or seeking to ratify a treaty which, without being
contrary to the Constitution, may affect the functioning of the
(2) When the referendum has resulted in the adoption of the
bill, the President of the Republic promulgates it within a
maximum period of fifteen days.
Article 48 [Treaties, War, Peace, Pardon]
(1) The President of the Republic ratifies the treaties.
(2) He declares war and concludes peace with the approval of
the National Parliament.
(3) He exercises the right of pardon.
Article 49 [Policy, Informing Parliament]
(1) The President of the Republic directs the general policy of
the Nation, defines its fundamental options, and informs the
National Parliament accordingly.
(2) The President of the Republic communicates with the
National Parliament either directly or by message.
Article 50 [Nomination of Government]
(1) The President of the Republic nominates the Prime Minister,
and on his suggestion, the other members of the Government.
(2) The President of the Republic presides over the Council of
Article 51 [Dismissal of Government]
The President of the Republic dismisses the Government or one
of its members on his own initiative or on the recommendation
of the Prime Minister.
Article 52 [Promulgation, Veto]
(1) The President of the Republic promulgates constitutional,
organic, or ordinary laws and ensures their publication in the
Official Journal of the Tunisian Republic within a maximum
period of fifteen days counting from the transmission by the
President of the National Parliament.
(2) The President of the Republic may, during this period,
return the bill to the National Parliament for a second reading.
If the bill is adopted by the National Parliament with a majority
of two-thirds of its members, the law is promulgated and
published within a second period of fifteen days.
Article 53 [Execution of Laws, Regulatory Power]
The President of the Republic watches over the execution of the
laws. He exercises the general regulatory power and may
delegate all or part of it to the Prime Minister.
Article 54 [Deliberation of Bills, Countersignature]
(1) Bills are deliberated on in the Council of Ministers.
(2) Decrees of a regulatory character are countersigned by the
Prime Minister and the interested member of the Government.
Article 55 [Nomination of Officers]
The President of the Republic nominates the highest civil and
military officers on the recommendation of the Government.
Article 56 [Temporary Disability]
(1) In case of temporary disability, the President of the
Republic may, by decree, delegate his powers to the Prime
Minister with the exclusion of the power of dissolution.
(2) During the temporary disability of the President of the
Republic, the Government, even if it is the object of a motion
of censure, remains in place until the end of this disability.
(3) The President of the Republic informs the President of the
National Parliament of the provisional delegation of his powers.
Article 57 [Vacancy]
(1) In case the Presidency of the Republic becomes vacant on
account of death, resignation, or total incapacity, the President
of the National Parliament immediately is invested temporarily
with the functions of the Republic for a period of at least 45
days and at most 60 days. He takes the constitutional oath
before the National Parliament, and during its absence, before
the Bureau of the National Parliament.
(2) The interim President of the Republic may not be a
candidate for the Presidency of the Republic even in the case of
(3) The interim President of the Republic discharges the
functions of the President of the Republic, however, without
resorting to referendum, dismissing the Government, dissolving
the National Parliament, or taking the exceptional measures
provided for in Article 46.
(4) During this period, a motion of censure against the
Government cannot be presented.
(5) During the same period, presidential elections are organized
to elect a new President of the Republic for a term of five
(6) The new President of the Republic may dissolve the
National Parliament and organize early legislative elections in
conformity with the provisions of Article 63 (2).
Section II The Government
Article 58 [Functions]
The Government puts into effect the general policy of the
Nation, in conformity with the orientations and options defined
by the President of the Republic.
Article 59 [Responsibility]
The Government is responsible to the President of the Republic
for its conduct.
Article 60 [Prime Minister's Functions]
The Prime Minister directs and coordinates the work of the
government. He substitutes, as necessary, for the President of
the Republic in presiding over the Council of Ministers or any
Article 61 [Government in Parliament]
(1) The members of the Goverament have the right of access to
the National Parliament as well as to its committees.
(2) Any deputy may address written or oral questions to the
Article 62 [Motion of Censure]
(1) The National Parliament may, by a vote on a motion of
censure, oppose the continuation of the responsibilities of the
government, if it finds that the government is not following the
general policy and the fundamental options provided for in
Articles 49 and 58.
(2) The motion is not receivable unless it is motivated and
signed by at least half of the membership of the National
(3) The vote may not take place until 48 hours have elapsed
after the motion of censure.
(4) When a motion of censure is adopted by a majority of
two-thirds of the deputies, the President of the Republic accepts
the resignation of the government presented by the Prime
Article 63 [Dissolution of Parliament]
(1) If the National Parliament has adopted a second motion of
censure with a two-thirds majarity during the same legislative
period, the President of the Republic may either accept the
resignation of the government or dissolve the National
(2) The decree dissolving the National Parliament must include
the calling of new elections within a maximum period of thirty
Article 64 [Judgments]
Judgments are rendered in the name of the People and in the
name of the President of the Republic.
Article 65 [Independence of Judiciary]
The judiciary is independent; the magistrates in the exercise
of their functions are not subjected to any authority other than
Article 66 [Nomination of Magistrates]
Magistrates are nominated by decree of the President of the
Republic upon the recommendation of the Superior Conncil of
the Magistrature. The modalities of their recruitment are
determined by law.
The Superior Conncil of the Magistrature, whose composition
and attributions are determined by law, watches over the
application of the guarantees accorded to magistrates in the
matter of nomination, advancement, transfer, and discipline.
Article 68 [High Treason by Government]
The High Court meets in a case of high treason committed by a
member of the Government. The competence and the
composition of the High Court as well as the procedure
applicable before it are specified by law.
Article 69 [Administrative Tribunal, Court of Accounts]
(1) The Conncil of State is composod of two organs:
1) The Administrative Tribunal;
2) The Court of Accounts.
(2) The composition and the competence of the Council of State
as well as the procedure applicable before it are determined by
Article 70 [Consultative Assembly]
The Economic and Social Council is a consultative assembly in
economic and social matters. Its composition and its relations
with the National Parliament are determined by law.
Article 71 [Local Councils]
The municipal and regional Councils
conduct the local affairs
under the conditions determined by law.
Article 72 [Initiative, Prohibited Amendments]
The initiative for the amendment of the Constitution belongs to
the President of the Republic or to at least one-third of the
members of the National Parliament, with the reservation that it
does not affect the republican form of the State.
Article 73 [Deliberation, Majority, Second Reading]
(1) The National Parliament may not deliberate on the proposed
amendment except following a resolution passed by an absolute
majarity and after a special ad hoc committee has determined
and studied the objective.
(2) The Constitution cannot be amended except following the
adoption by the National Parliament of the amendment proposal
with a majority of two-thirds of its members after two readings,
the second of which may not take place until at least three
months after the first.
Article 74 [Promulgation]
The President of the Republic promulgates the law which
contains the provision of the Constitution under the form of a
constitutional law in conformity with Article 52.
(1) The incumbent President of the Republic whose term of
office expires during the month of November 1991, may, prior
to that date, organize early elections, be they presidential,
legislative, or both at the same time.
In case only early presidential elections are held, the current
term of the National Parliament expires at the same time as that
of the new President of the Republic elected in accordance with
the present paragraph.
In case only early legislative elections are held, the term of the
President of the Republic ends at the same time as that of the
newly elected National Parliament.
(2) The decrees pertaining to the early elections provided for by
this Article must include the convening of the electors for new
elections within a maximum period of thirty days.
(3) The newly elected National Parliament must convene within
eight days after the proclamation of the election results.
(4) The term of the incumbent President ends upon the
proclamation of the results of the early presidential elections.
(5) The legislative term of the current National Parliament ends
on the day of the convening of the new National Parliament.