December 17, 2010: The spark

Young street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi sets himself on fire in front of the governor’s office in Sidi Bouzid, to protest the municipal authorities’ seizure of his vegetable cart, leading to clashes between the residents of Sidi Bouzid and security forces.

December 18- 24, 2010: Protests spread

December 17, 2010: The spark

Young street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi sets himself on fire in front of the governor’s office in Sidi Bouzid, to protest the municipal authorities’ seizure of his vegetable cart, leading to clashes between the residents of Sidi Bouzid and security forces.

December 18- 24, 2010: Protests spread

Demonstrations in solidarity with Bouazizi raise slogans against increased rates of unemployment and marginalization. Protests spread to nearby cities, most importantly in ar-Riqab, El Meknassi, Menzel Bouzaine and Sidi Ali Bou Aoune. Protests turn into popular uprisings, leading to violent intervention by security forces who open fire, killing the unemployed Muhammad Lumari and wounding a number of demonstrators.

December 25 – 27, 2010: Protests spread to major cities

Trade unionists and human right activists go to Muhammad Ali Square in Tunis in solidarity with the Sidi Bouzid population and to demand job opportunities, freedom and national dignity. Protest movement spreads to Sfax, Kairouan, Kasserine, Thala and Medenine.

December 28, 2010: The ‘firm’ speech

In his first appearance, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, condemns the protests, describing them as ‘riots’ and undertakes to “firmly” enforce the law on demonstrators.

January 4, 2011: Bouazizi dies

In Ben Arous Hospital, Bouazizi dies at the age of 26. This coincides with burning acts in Sidi Bouzid, which security forces handle with all means of repression.

January 8-9, 2011: Protest movements in several locations

–    Lawyers sit-in inside courts against security persecution.

–    Six persons die in Thala and two in Kasserine during violent clashes with security forces.

Violence escalates through organizing protests against the political regime for the first time.  Many die in the Midwest.

January 10, 2011: Ben Ali’s second speech

The president tries to calm situations through social promises of creating 300,000 job opportunities.

January 11, 2011: Anger day

An order is given to shut down schools, institutes and universities for an indefinite period. This coincides with a general strike organized by the Tunisian General Labour Union (Union Générale Tunisienne de Travail – UGTT). Demonstrations start in Tunis and spread to urban slums, which witness looting and burning acts targeting security stations in particular. Security forces handle this with excessive use of live bullets, leading to casualties.

January 12, 2011: Ben Ali’s regime is dying

Minister of Interior, Rafik Haj Qassem, is dismissed and replaced with Ahmed Friaa but protests and police repression continue. The new minister orders a curfew in major cities from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.

January 13, 2011: The farewell speech

Ben Ali delivers his third speech in a slang Tunisian dialect and offers many concessions, including dissolution of the government and organization of early legislative elections.

January 14, 2011: Ben Ali flees

A surging demonstration in Habib Bourguiba St. in Tunis, which is famous for raising the slogan of ‘dégage’ (leave) and other demonstrations in many cities, some of which were organized by UGTT. Ben Ali flees to Saudi Arabia and 30 members of his family and of his wife’s, Leila Trabelsi, are arrested at the airport, in addition to the Presidential Security Director, Ali Seriati.

The Prime Minister, Mohamed Ghannouchi, announces temporary assumption of the presidency in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 56 of the constitution.

January 15, 2011: Back to Chapter 57

The Constitutional Council finds out that the president hasn’t delegated his powers to the prime minister and decides to work as per Chapter 57 of the constitution. The Council authorizes Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies, Fouad Mebazaa, to be the interim president until the presidential elections are carried out.

January 17, 2011: A group of opposition joins the new government

Mohamed Ghannouchi appoints some ministers of opposition in new government while keeping many of Ben Ali’s ministers. Many political prisoners, including members of the Ennahda Party are released.

January 20 – 26, 2011: Qassaba Square sit-in no. 1

Convoy of Freedom sets off from Midwest towards government seat in Qassaba in Tunis, claiming overthrowing of Rallier government. Violence, looting and burning acts in several cities to condemn continued Ben Ali’s regime.

January 27, 2011: Reconstitution of the government

Many ministers from previous regime excluded and new ones appointed.

February 20, 2011: Qassaba Square sit-in no. 2

A second sit-in organized in Qassaba to demand departure of Mohamed Ghannouchi and establishment of National Constituent Assembly (NCA).

February 27, 2011: Mohamed Ghannouchi resigns

Resignation announced through brief speech on TV channels and Fouad Mebazaa appoints Beji Caid el Sebsi as prime minister.

March 7, 2011: A technocratic government

Beji Caid el Sebsi forms new government of technocrats.

March 9, 2011: Dissolution of the Constitutional Democratic Rally

Former ruling party dissolved in less than one week and new parties licensed.

April 13, 2011: Ben Ali prosecuted in absentia

Ben Ali prosecuted in 18 cases related to plotting against state security, incitement to murder and drug trading.

June 8, 2011: Election postponement

NCA elections postponed until 23 October for technical and logistical reasons.

July 15, 2011: Qassaba Square sit-in no. 3 fails

Security forces intervene to disperse sitters-in at Qassaba Square, who claim dismissal of el Sebsi.

August 15, 2011: ‘Judiciary purge’

Tunisians demonstrate to claim judiciary independency after some of the former regime figures have been released, such as former Justice Minister Bashir Tekkari.

October 23, 2011: NCA elections

Ennahda Party wins 89 seats out of 217.

November 22, 2011: Mustapha Ben Jaafar becomes NCA Chairman

NCA members elect Ben Jaafar, head of Democratic Forum for Labour and Freedoms (Forum démocratique pour le travail et les libertés), as chairman.

December 12, 2011: Marzoki becomes President

Moncef Marzoki, head of the Conference for the Republic Party, elected as president by NCA members. The following day, he asks Hamadi Jebali, the prime minister, to form the government.

The government is presented before the NCA on 22 December and the rule of Troika is established.