Story highlights

Tunisia was the inspiration for the Arab Spring

There've been longstanding tensions since Ben Ali's ouster

The state of emergency extends through June

CNN  — 

The Tunisian presidency announced on Sunday it would extend the country’s state of emergency through June, the official Tunisian news agency TAP reported.

This is the second time the North African country’s presidency extended the state of emergency this year.

Protests in Tunisia against rising unemployment rates, poverty levels, inflation and government repression in late 2010 and early 2011 were the beginning of and inspiration for the Arab Spring.

The Arab Spring is the popular name used to describe the wave of protests across the Arabic-speaking world in recent years against autocratic regimes.

Demonstrations led to the ouster of the country’s leader, Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali in early 2011. There have been longstanding political tensions since.

In October 2012, the once-banned moderate Islamist party Ennahda won Tunisia’s elections. The winning party formed Tunisia’s Islamist-led government.