2011 timeline: Tunisia

The key moments in Tunisia's move from dictatorship to forming parliament following elections.

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December 17, 2010

Looking back: Tunisia's 2011

When Tunisians remember 2011, certain cries will rush to mind: “Leave!” “Revolution!” “Freedom!” – yells of defiance and victory. But right behind them will come darker words, such as “confusion”, “anxiety” and “fear”.

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Aftermath: Toppling of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali battered Tunisian economy. Read article

Mohamed Bouazizi sets himself alight in the town of Sidi Bouzid to protest against harassment and unemployment. Two days later, rioting breaks out.

January 14, 2011

Confronted with a massive popular movement, the president, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, steps down and flees with his family to Saudi Arabia. A state of emergency is declared.

January 24

Tunisia's army chief says the military will help safeguard the revolution.

January 27

The prime minister, Mohammed Ghannouchi, stays on in a cabinet reshuffle, but other key ministers from the government of Ben Ali are replaced.

February 19

An amnesty is introduced for political prisoners.

February 25

About 100,000 anti-government protesters take to the streets of Tunis.

March 1

The moderate Islamist movement Ennahda is legalised.

March 7

The new interim prime minister, Beji Caid Essebsi, announces a new government free of any members of the Ben Ali regime.

July 28

After a third trial held in his absence, Ben Ali has so far been sentenced to more than 66 years in prison.

October 23

Ennahda wins 89 of the 217 seats in Tunisia's new constituent assembly after the country's first free election.

December 14

Hamadi Jebali, the number two in Ennahda, is named prime minister.

December 23

The constituent assembly approves Tunisia's new government.