Meeting on Thursday, July 25, the Tunisian Constituent Assembly decided to abolish the monarchy after three separate unanimous votes.
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Background: Meeting on Thursday, July 25, the Tunisian Constituent Assembly decided to abolish the monarchy after three separate unanimous votes.
The first vote saw the end of the reign of the Bey of Tunis, the second proclaimed the country a republic, and the third elected Prime Minister Habib Bourguiba to be the first President.
A crowd of over 2,000 people acclaimed Premier Bourgiba - leader of the Neo Destour Party - when he arrived at the Bardo Palace for the special meeting of the assembly.
When the session opened, deputy after deputy stood up to deliver bitter attacks on the Bey and the royal regime. One deputy, Mr Rachid Driss, exceeded his brief and began attacking royal families everywhere - with the notal exception of the British monarchy.
During his speech, the Libyan Ambassador, Mr. Bsikri, walked out in protest and Mr.Bourgiba, in a later speech, had to explain that his Government respected the regimes of other countries and did not want to criticize any royal families but its own.
After other deputies had spoken, Mr.Bourgiba wound up with a criticism of the Beys for having neglected the real interest of their people and having thought only of saving their throne.
Congratulated inside the Bardo Palace by his fellow deputies, President Bourgiba then went on to drive through the city in an open car and receive the ovation of the huge crowd that lined the route.
A modern ruler with western liberal ideas, President Bourgiba is thought to have established the republic as a new move in the field of foreign policy. Observers believe that he wishes to become as important as his chief rival in the campaign to secure leadership of the North African Federation, the Sultan of Morocco.
They also believe that the Sultan's position in his own country has not been improved by the deposition of a neighbouring monarch.