Independent since 1956, Tunisia has been a Republic since 1957. On the basis of the Constitution of 1 June 1959, and repeatedly amended (1988, 1999 and 2002), the President of the Republic, who is also Head of State, is elected by direct suffrage. with a 5-year mandate and can be re-elected several times, he appoints the Prime Minister and the members of the government. Legislative power is entrusted to the Chamber of Deputies and the Chamber of Counselors, the latter being established following the reform approved by referendum in 2002. The formation of parties on a religious basis is prohibited. The judicial system is based on French law and Islamic law. The old religious courts have been abolished, replaced by civil courts divided into courts of first instance, courts of appeal and supreme court. The civil code, approved the year after independence, also provides for some elementary rules for the protection of women, who are recognized as having substantial equal rights with respect to men. The death penalty is in effect, but the executions have not taken place since 1991. The defense of the country is entrusted to the armed forces divided into three traditional weapons, flanked by some paramilitary organizations. Military service is carried out on a selective basis and lasts for one year. When Tunisia gained independence, the government placed the fight against illiteracy and the unification of school structures among its priority commitments, the Koranic schools were abolished and absorbed into the public school system. According to andyeducation, education in each grade is free. The compulsory schooling covers a period of 9 years, from 6 to 15 years of age. Primary education includes 6 years of study, secondary education is divided into two cycles, the first three-year and the second four-year with general, economic and technical orientation. Monastir, Sfax, Sousse and Manouba.
The hydrographic network is poorly developed; the only important river is the aforementioned Medjerda, as it is the only one with a perennial regime as it draws its waters from the high altitudes of the mountains of the same name, in Algeria, where rainfall is still relatively abundant. 365 km long, of which about a hundred in Algerian territory, upon entering Tunisia, the Medjerda flows mainly from W to E, separating the Tell from the Atlas and flowing into the Gulf of Tunis; although the regime is very irregular and the flow varies from 1000 m 3 / s during the winter floods to not even 2 m 3/ s in the summer lean periods, the river valley offers good opportunities for profitable crops. The scarcity of rains and the prevalence of impermeable soils, such as clays, which are not very suitable for retaining water, contribute to the poverty of the remaining hydrography. However, it is possible to distinguish between the watercourses that from the Tunisian ridge go towards the N, tributing to the Medjerda or flowing directly into the Mediterranean, and those that go towards the S; the latter are generally dry and only rarely, after violent downpours, do streams form which generally disperse very often in the closed basins of the chotts. The largest (approx. 7700 km²) is the aforementioned Chott Jerid, 100 km long, which communicates to the E with the Chott Fejaj. In the vicinity of these ancient basins, now dry despite the general aridity of the area, water tables emerge here and there, allowing the formation of beautiful oases (Nefta, Tozeur, etc.). Among the few lakes that of Bizerte (110 km 3) communicates with the Mediterranean through a canal at the entrance of which the city of Bizerte is located.
The climatic conditions of Tunisia naturally determine its vegetation cover. The coast is all Mediterranean, low and full of coves. Quite dense woods of cork oaks and pines still cover the Tell and the Atlas, where however they are already less luxuriant; further to the south, the steppe vegetation predominates, now devoid of tree species and where only wild herbs and shrubs grow, such as esparto and artemisia. In the depressions, near the chotts, only succulent plants such as the quetaf, pasture for sheep, can survive; finally in the very arid Sahara there are only the green spots of the oases, with the typical presence of date palms. Among the wild animals here live hyenas, wild boars, jackals and gazelles, while in the desert areas there are many poisonous snakes such as the cobra and the horned viper and some species of scorpions. Tunisia is also home to a great variety of birds: over 200 species have been recorded, including storks, hawks, eagles, bee-eaters and jays, and numerous shore and water birds. The excessive exploitation of both agricultural and grazing land, drought and water pollution are among the most serious environmental problems that the country is forced to face. Only 1.3% of the territory is protected in the form of national parks, nine in all, and nature reserves. L ‘ UNESCO, in 1980, declared a world heritage site of the Ichkeul National Park.