Former leader Ben Ali (83) of Tunisia passed Away
Former leader Ben Ali (83) of Tunisia passed Away. The former autocratic leader of Tunisia is dead. Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali (83) died according to his lawyer in Saudi Arabia, where he had lived in exile for years.
Ben Ali was in power in Tunisia for more than twenty years. He fled to Saudi Arabia in 2011 after large-scale protests against his regime.
Tunisian judges later sentenced him in absentia to imprisonment for, among other things, abuse of power and corruption. Ben Ali would have been seriously ill.
Ben Ali was Tunisia’s second president from 1987 to 2011. He was appointed a prime minister in 1987 and assumed presidency on November 7, 1987 in a non-violent coup d’etat that declared and dismissed President Habib Bourguiba as incompetent.
Ben Ali was re-elected each time with a vast majority, each time with more than 90 percent of the vote. His last re-election was on October 25, 2009.
On January 14, 2011, after months of protests against his rule, he was forced to flee to Saudi Arabia, along with his wife Leila Ben Ali and their three children. The Tunisian interim government asked Interpol to issue an international arrest warrant for money laundering and drug trafficking charges.
On June 20, 2011, he and his wife were sentenced in absentia to 35 years in prison. In June 2012, Ben Ali was sentenced in absentia to 20 years in prison for inciting violence and murder.