Tunisia's post-revolution political struggles (dpa German Press Agency)

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  • March 18, 2015
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Tunis (dpa) – Tunisia, the birthplace of the Arab Spring, has seen watershed events since long-time autocrat Zine el Abidine Ben Ali was ousted in the 2011 uprising.
The following is a list of key events since his overthrow:
June 2011: A court sentences Ben Ali, who has fled to Saudi Arabia, to 35 years in prison for embezzling state assets.
October: The moderate Islamist Ennahda (Renaissance) movement, banned under Ben Ali, emerges as the largest party from parliamentary elections.
December: Moncef Marzouki, a rights activist, is picked by the parliament as president. Ennahda Secretary-General Hamadi Jebali is appointed prime minister.
July 19, 2012: A court sentences Ben Ali to life in prison in absentia for complicity in the deaths of protesters.
February 2013: Chokri Belaid, the head of a leftist opposition party, is assassinated – presumably by radical Salafists.
March: Ennahda presents a new cabinet of politically independent technocrats. Ali Larayedh, an Islamist, is appointed prime minister.
July: Mohamed Brahmi, another opposition politician, is shot dead, with radical Islamists suspected of being behind the killing.
August: The transitional parliament ceases its sittings as tens of thousands take to the streets to call for the government’s resignation. Salafist group Ansar al-Sharia is banned as a terrorist organization.
January 2014: Following two years of heated debate, the parliament approves a new constitution. With its rights on freedom of conscience, religious freedom and gender equality, the charter is seen as breaking new ground in the Arab world.
A new government of technocrats is confirmed in office under Mehdi Jomaa, a politically affiliated engineer.
March: Authorities lift a three-year-old state of emergency, citing improvements in security.
July: An attack by militant Islamists in the west of the country claims the lives of 14 Tunisian soldiers.
October: Tunisians vote in landmark parliamentary polls. The secularist Nidaa Tounes party takes the lead with 86 seats in the 217-strong legislature. Ennahda finishes second with 69 seats.
December: Nidaa Tounes founder and former prime minister Beji Caid Essibsi is elected president.
February 2015: Former Interior Minister Habib Essid is elected prime minister, heading a coalition between Nidaa Tounes and two smaller liberal parties. Ennahda also joins the coalition, but taking only one portfolio.
March 18: Nineteen people, including 17 foreign tourists, are killed when gunmen, reportedly dressed in military uniform, open fire at the capital’s Bardo Museum. Security forces later kill two gunmen.