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Democratic Constitutional Rally

Democratic Constitutional Rally
التجمع الدستوري الديمقراطي
French name Rassemblement constitutionnel démocratique
Abbreviation RCD
Former presidents Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Mohamed Ghannouchi
Slogan Maan Narfa3 Al Ta7adiyete, Maan men Ajli Tounes Maan
Founded 27 February 1988 (1988-02-27)
Dissolved 9 March 2011 (2011-03-09)
Preceded by Socialist Destourian Party
Succeeded by several offshoots
Headquarters Avenue Mohammed V
Student wing ERCD
Youth wing JCD
Membership 2.500 000 (2010)
Ideology Tunisian nationalism
Social democracy
Social Liberalism
International affiliation Socialist International
Colors Red
Politics of Tunisia
Political parties

The Democratic Constitutional Rally or Democratic Constitutional Assembly[1] (Tunisian Arabic: التجمع الدستوري الديمقراطيEt-Tajamu‘ ed-Dostūrī ed-Dīmoqrāṭī, French: Rassemblement Constitutionnel Démocratique, sometimes also called Constitutional Democratic Rally in English), also referred to by its French initials RCD, formerly called Neo Destour then Socialist Destourian Party, was the ruling party in Tunisia from independence in 1956 until it was overthrown and dissolved in the Tunisian revolution in 2011.[2][3]


  • History and profile 1
  • Leaders 2
  • Congresses 3
  • Election results 4
    • Presidential Elections 4.1
    • Parliamentary Elections 4.2
  • See also 5
  • References 6

History and profile

In 1920, Tunisian nationalists formed the Destour (Constitutional) Party in opposition to French rule. As the party developed, a schism occurred within the party, leading to the founding of the Neo Destour Party in 1934 by Habib Bourguiba and several younger members of the old Destour. Under his leadership, the Neo Destour Party successfully garnered independence from France in 1956. Eight years later, in 1964, the Neo Destour Party became the Destourian Socialist Party (PSD). From 1963–1981, the PSD was the only legal political party in Tunisia.[4]

In 1981, the PSD faced opposition from Hizb ut-Tahrir, the Islamic Tendency Movement, the Tunisian Communist Party, the Movement for Popular Unity and student groups, weakening its influence. On 7 November 1987, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, who had been named Prime Minister only a month earlier, became president after Bourguiba was declared medically unfit for office.[5] The following year, President Ben Ali instituted economic reforms increasing economic privatization and renamed the party the Democratic Constitutional Rally (RCD).[4]

In the 2009 general election, the last held before the revolution, the RCD won 161 of 214 seats with the remaining 53 seats going to minority parties.[6] These elections, like virtually all others in the country since independence, were widely seen as fraudulent. The outcry over the elections proved to be a major cause of the revolution which forced President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to resign and leave Tunisia.[7]

In response to the RCD government's attempt to suppress the protests, the Socialist International expelled the RCD on 17 January 2011—three days after Ben Ali fled the country.[8] In order to placate protesters and designated coalition participants, the incumbent president and prime minister resigned from their memberships in the RCD on 18 January[9] and all remaining RCD-aligned ministers resigned their party memberships on 20 January,[10] the effect of which left the RCD with only a parliamentary majority. On 27 January, Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi carried out a major reshuffle, removing all former RCD members other than himself from the government. On 9 March, the party was finally dissolved by the Tunisian courts.[3]



  • 29–31 July 1993
  • 29–31 July 1998
  • 30 August – 2 September 1998
  • 28–31 July 2003

Election results

Presidential Elections

Election date Party candidate Number of votes received Percentage of votes
1989 Zine El Abidine Ben Ali 2,087,028 100%
1994 Zine El Abidine Ben Ali 2,987,375 100%
1999 Zine El Abidine Ben Ali 3,269,067 99.4%
2004 Zine El Abidine Ben Ali 4,204,292 94.4%
2009 Zine El Abidine Ben Ali 4,238,711 89.6%

Parliamentary Elections

Election date Party leader Number of votes received Percentage of votes Number of deputies
1989 Zine El Abidine Ben Ali 1,633,004 80.6% 141
1994 Zine El Abidine Ben Ali 2,768,667 97.7% 144
1999 Zine El Abidine Ben Ali Unknown Unknown 148
2004 Zine El Abidine Ben Ali 3,678,645 87.5% 152
2009 Zine El Abidine Ben Ali 3,754,559 84.5% 161

See also


  1. ^ Entry for "Democratic Constitutional Rally" in the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  2. ^ "Minister of Interior Suspends the RCD party awaiting its dissolution".  
  3. ^ a b "Tunisia dissolves Ben Ali party".  
  4. ^ a b "Tunisia: Politics, Government and Taxation". Encyclopedia of Nations. 2010. Retrieved 13 December 2010. 
  5. ^ Paul Delaney (9 November 1987). "Senile Bourguiba Described in Tunis". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 December 2010. 
  6. ^ "Final Results of Presidential and Legislative Elections". Presidential and Legislative Elections in Tunisia. 26 October 2009. Retrieved 12 December 2010. 
  7. ^ Empathy for Tunisian discontent in France Euronews, 13 January 2011
  8. ^ SI decision on Tunisia Socialist International, 17 January 2011
  9. ^ "State TV: 2 top officials depart Ben Ali's party In Tunisia". CNN. 19 January 2011. 
  10. ^ Lin Noueihed and Matthew Jones (20 January 2011). "All Tunisian ministers quit ruling party- state TV". Reuters. 
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