Description of government structure:
Chief of State: Fouad MEBAZZA *
Head of Government: Prime Minister Beji Caid EL-SEBSI
Assembly: Tunisia has a bicameral Parliament consisting of the Chamber of Counselors (Majlis al-Mustasharin) with 126 seats and the Chamber of Deputies (Majlis Al-Nuwab) with 214 seats.
* President Zine el Abidine BEN ALI was forced out of power on January 14, 2011. MEBAZZA is Acting President.
Description of electoral system:
The President is elected by a plurality system to serve a 5-year term. Presidential candidates must be supported by at least 30 MPs and must present their nominations to a committee composed of the president, the president of the parliament, the president of the constitutional council, the first president of the court of cassation, and the first president of the administrative tribunal.
The Prime Minister is appointed by the president.
In the Chamber of Counselors (Majlis al-Mustasharin), 85 members are elected by an electoral college to serve 6-year terms and 41 members are appointed by the President to serve 6-year terms*. In the Chamber of Deputies (Majlis Al-Nuwab), 161 members are elected by plurality vote in multi-member constituencies to serve 5-year terms and 53 members are elected from a national compensatory list to serve 5-year terms.**
* Electoral college consists of municipal councilors and members of regional councils. One-half of the upper house is renewed at each election.
** There are 26 multi-member constituencies. Voters vote for lists of candidates. The list with a plurality of votes wins all seats in the constituency.