First President of Tunisia DiesApril 30, 2000
First president of the Republic of Tunisia, Habib Bourguiba, dies.
14th Mediterranean GamesSeptember 30, 2001
14th Mediterranean Games held in Tunis.
Ben Ali Wins ReferendumMay 30, 2002
President Ben Ali wins referendum on constitutional changes, ending term limits and raising age requirement.
October 8, 2004
President Ben Ali wins 4th term. Since Ali’s successful 1987 coup, he never received less than 94% of the vote.
Tunisia Creates New Parliamentary BodyJuly 11, 2005
Parliament inducts a new upper house that is run by the ruling party, the Chamber of Councilors.
U.S.-Tunisia Defense Cooperation IncreasesMarch 2, 2006
U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Tunisian leaders pledge stronger military ties against extremism.
Government Begins CensorshipNovember 30, 2007
Government blocks popular video-sharing sites, including YouTube, to censor material by and about opposition activists.
Ben Ali Wins Fifth TermOctober 31, 2009
President Ben Ali wins fifth five-year term amid criticisms of unfair election process.
The Arab Spring BeginsDecember 31, 2010
Mohamed Bouazizi, a street vendor, lights himself on fire to protest government mistreatment. His death sparks protest movement, the Jasmine Revolution, and Tunisian government reacts aggressively. The Arab Spring begins.
Arab Spring in TunisiaJanuary 31, 2011
Security forces are overwhelmed by Arab Spring protesters, prompting President Ben Ali to cede his office and go into exile. Democratic elections are held and a new president and prime minister are elected.
Art and PrisonJune 30, 2012
Hardline conservatives attack an art show deemed offensive to Islam. Government blames Salafists, but also criticizes artists on content. Former President Ben Ali is sentenced to life in prison for the deaths of 23 protesters.
Jomaa Interim Head of GovernmentDecember 31, 2013
After months of quarreling, Ennahda and secular opposition agree on appointment of independent Mehdi Jomaa as head of interim government.
New Tunisian ConstitutionJanuary 31, 2014
Parliament formalizes the country’s first constitution since President Ali was expelled in 2011.
IS Targets Foreigners in TunisiaMarch 31, 2015
Local Islamic State members gun down dozens of foreign tourists over several months.
Nobel Peace PrizeOctober 31, 2015
National Dialogue Quartet, a coalition of Tunisia civil society groups, receives the Nobel Peace Prize for helping country transition to democracy.
IS Surge in TunisiaMarch 30, 2016
Islamic State attacks increase in Tunisia as Libya’s instability continues.
Tunisia’s new unity government wins parliamentary approvalAugust 27, 2016
Tunisia’s new government under Prime Minister-designate Youssef Chahed is officially backed by parliament’s vote of confidence.
Tunisian forces clash with protestorsMay 1, 2017
Tunisian security forces fired tear gas to disperse protesters demanding jobs and a share of gas and oil revenues. This is in response to protesters briefly closing two oil and gas pumping facilities.
Amnesty Bill protestsMay 13, 2017
Over 2,000 Tunisians marched in Tunis to protest a proposed amnesty bill that pardons businessmen accused of corruption under Ben Ali.
Tunisia ends ban on Muslim women marrying non-Muslim menJuly 14, 2017
Tunisia abolished a ban, dating back to 1973, on Muslim women marrying non-Muslim men.
First municipal elections since 2011 uprisingMay 22, 2018
Tunisia voted in its first free municipal elections since the overthrow of Ben Ali in 2011.It marks the first step toward the decentralization of the government.
Tunis elects the first female mayorJuly 3, 2018
Souad Abderrahim was elected the first female mayor of Tunisia’s capital, Tunis. “I dedicate this victory to all Tunisian women,” Abderrahim declared.