IV. The Executive Authority

Part Two: The Government

 

Article 89

The government shall be composed of a Head of Government, Ministers, and secretaries of state selected by the Head of Government, and in the case of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defence, in consultation with the President of the Republic.

Within one week of the declaration of the definitive election results, the President of the Republic shall ask the candidate of the party or the electoral coalition which won the largest number of seats in the Assembly of the Representatives of the People to form a government, within a one month period, extendable once. If two or more parties or coalitions have the same number of seats, then the party or coalition having received the largest number of votes shall be asked to form a government.

If the specified period elapses without the formation of the government, or if the confidence of the Assembly of the Representatives of the People is not obtained, the President of the Republic shall consult with political parties, coalitions, and parliamentary groups, with the objective of asking the person judged most capable to form a government within a period of no more than one month to do so.

If, in the four month period following the first designation of a person to form a government, the members of the Assembly of Representatives of the people fail to grant confidence in a government, the President of the Republic may dissolve the Assembly of the Representatives of the People and call for new legislative elections to be held within a minimum of 45 days and a maximum of 90 days.

The government shall present a summary of its programme to the Assembly of the Representatives of the People with the objective of obtaining the confidence of an absolute majority of its members.

Should the government thus gain the confidence of the Assembly, the President of the Republic shall appoint the Head of Government and the members of the government.

The Head of Government and the members of the government shall swear the following oath before the President of the Republic:

“I swear by Almighty God to work loyally for the good of Tunisia, to respect the country’s Constitution and its legislation, to defend its interests and bear full allegiance to it”.

 

Article 90

Membership of the government and of the Assembly of the Representatives of the People may not be combined. The Election Law shall regulate the process of filling vacancies.

The head and members of government may not exercise any other professional activity.

 

Article 91

The Head of Government determines the state’s general policy, taking into account the provisions of Article 77, and shall ensure its execution.

 

Article 92

The Head of Government is responsible for:

  • Creating, modifying and dissolving ministries and secretariats of state, as well as determining their mandates and prerogatives, after discussing the matter with the Council of Ministers
  • Dismissing and accepting the resignation(s) of one or more members of the government, after consultation with the President of the Republic in the case of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defence.
  • Creating, amending, and dissolving public institutions, public enterprises and administrative departments as well as establishing their mandates and authorities, after deliberation in the Council of Ministers, except in the case of institutions, enterprises and departments under the competence of the Presidency of the Republic, which are created, changed or dissolved upon a proposition by the President.
  • Nominating and dismissing individuals in senior civil positions. These positions are regulated by law.

The Head of Government informs the President of the Republic of the decisions taken within the latter’s aforementioned specific areas of competence.

The Head of Government leads the public administration and concludes international agreements of a technical nature.

The government ensures the enforcement of laws. The Head of Government may delegate some of his/her authorities to the Ministers. If the Head of Government is temporarily unable to carry out his/her tasks, he/she shall delegate his/her powers to one of the Ministers.

 

Article 93

The Head of Government chairs the Council of Ministers.

The Council of Ministers meets by convocation of the Head of Government, who sets its agenda.

It is mandatory for the President of the Republic to preside over the Council of Ministers on issues relating to defence, foreign policy, and national security as concerns the protection of the state and of the national territory from internal and external threats. The President may also attend the Council of Ministers’ other meetings, and if so, he/she presides over the meeting.

All draft laws are discussed in the Council of Ministers.

 

Article 94

The Head of Government exercises general regulatory powers. He/she is individually responsible for issuing decrees that he/she signs after discussion with the Council of Ministers.

Orders issued by the Head of Government are referred to as governmental decrees.

Regulatory decrees are counter signed by every competent Minister.

The Head of Government shall countersign regulatory decrees issued by Ministers.

 

Article 95

The government is accountable before the Assembly of the Representatives of the People.

 

Article 96

Every Assembly member has the right to submit written or oral questions to the Government in accordance with the Assembly’s internal rules of procedure.

 

Article 97

Votes may be taken on a motion of censure brought against the government based on a reasoned request presented by at least one-third of the members to the Speaker of the Assembly of Representatives. The motion of censure cannot be voted on until fifteen days have passed since the date the motion was presented to the Speaker of the Assembly.

A vote of no-confidence in the government requires the vote of an absolute majority of the members of the Assembly of the Representatives of the People, and the presentation of an alternative candidate to head the government whose candidacy must be approved in the same vote. The President of the Republic shall entrust this candidate with the task of forming the government, according to the provisions of Article 89.

In the event of failure to attain the necessary absolute majority, a motion of censure may not be reintroduced for a minimum period of six months.

The Assembly of the Representatives of the People may withdraw its confidence in a member of the government after a reasoned request is submitted to the Speaker of the Assembly by at least one-third of the members. Withdrawal of the Assembly’s confidence in the member of the government requires an absolute majority of votes.

 

Article 98

The resignation of the Head of Government entails the resignation of the entire government. Resignation shall be submitted in writing to the President of the Republic who notifies the Speaker of the Assembly of the Representatives of the People.

The Head of Government may request the Assembly of the Representatives of the People to give a vote of confidence to the government to continue its work. The vote of confidence shall be by an absolute majority of the members of the Assembly of the Representatives of the People. Should the Assembly not renew confidence in the government, the latter shall be deemed to have resigned.

In both cases, the President of the Republic shall assign the person who is most capable to form the government in accordance with the provisions of Article 89.

 

Article 99

The President of the Republic may ask the Assembly of the Representatives of the People to conduct a vote of confidence in the government on a maximum of two occasions during the entire presidential term. Confidence is voted by the absolute majority of members of the Assembly of the Representatives of the People.

In the case of non-renewal of confidence, the government is considered to have resigned. In this case the President of the Republic asks the person deemed most capable to form a government in a period not exceeding thirty days in conformity with the first, fifth, and sixth paragraphs of Article 89.

If the period expires without the formation of the government, or if the government does not obtain the confidence of the Assembly, the President of the Republic may dissolve the Assembly of the Representatives of the People and organize early legislative elections after a minimum of forty five days and a maximum of ninety days.

If the Assembly renews its confidence in the government on the two occasions, the President of the Republic will be considered to have resigned.

 

Article 100

If the office of Head of Government becomes permanently vacant for any reason except for resignation and withdrawal of the confidence of the Assembly, the President of the Republic shall ask the candidate of the ruling party or coalition to form a government within one month. If this period expires without forming a government, or if the government formed fails to receive a vote of confidence, the President shall ask the individual deemed most capable to form a government which presents itself before the Assembly for the purpose of obtaining a vote of confidence in accordance with the provisions of Article 89.

The outgoing government shall continue to administer government business under the supervision of one of its members to be selected by the Council of Ministers and nominated by the President of the Republic until the new government takes up its functions.

 

Article 101

Any disputes that arise regarding the respective powers of the President of the Republic and of the Head of Government shall be referred to the Constitutional Court by either party. The Court shall rule on the dispute within one week.