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Zarais wa Tunisia tumeziona jee za Kikwete na Mafisadi wa vijisenti vipi?

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by abdulahsaf, Mar 4, 2011.

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    abdulahsaf JF-Expert Member

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    Zine El Abidine Ben Ali


    Zine El Abidine Ben Ali
    زين العابدين بن علي[​IMG]
    PresidentHabib BourguibaPreceded byRachid SfarSucceeded byHédi BaccoucheBorn3 September 1936 (1936-09-03) (age 74)
    Hammam Sousse, French TunisiaPolitical partyConstitutional Democratic RallySpouse(s)Na'ima el-Kafy (1964-1988), Leïla Ben Ali (1992-Present)Alma materSpecial Military School of Saint Cyr
    School of Applied ArtilleryZine El Abidine Ben Ali (Arabic: زين العابدين بن علي‎, Zayn al-‘Ābidīn bin ‘Alī; born 3 September 1936) was the second President of the Tunisian Republic. He held the office from 7 November 1987, until he was forced to step down and flee the country on 14 January 2011.[1] Ben Ali was appointed Prime Minister in October 1987, and assumed the Presidency in November 1987 in a bloodless coup d'état from then President Habib Bourguiba, who was declared incompetent.[2] Ben Ali was subsequently re-elected with enormous majorities at every election, the final time being 25 October 2009.[3]
    Following the Tunisian Revolution, he fled to Saudi Arabia. Interpol subsequently issued a warrant for his arrest.

    Education and military career

    Upon completion of secondary school, Ben Ali earned degrees from the Special Inter-service School in Saint-Cyr, France, the Artillery School in Châlons-sur-Marne, France, the Senior Intelligence School (Maryland, USA) and the School for Anti-Aircraft Field Artillery (Texas, USA). His professional military career began in 1964 as a Tunisian staff officer. During his time in military service, he established the Military Security Department and directed its operations for 10 years. He briefly served as military attaché to Morocco and Spain before being appointed General Director of National Security in 1977.[4]
    In 1980 he was appointed Ambassador to Poland, and served in Poland for four years. Ben Ali subsequently served as Minister of State in charge of the interior before being appointed Interior Minister on 28 April 1986 then Prime Minister by President Habib Bourguiba in October 1987.[5]
    Rise to the presidency

    Ben Ali ascended to the office of President on 7 November 1987, after attending physicians to the former president filed an official medical report declaring Habib Bourguiba medically incapacitated and unable to fulfill the duties of the presidency.[6][7] In conformity with Article 57 of the Tunisian Constitution, the peaceful transition occurred. The country had faced 10% inflation, external debt accounting for 46% of GDP and a debt service ratio of 21% of GDP.[8]
    In 1999 Fulvio Martini, former head of Italian military secret service SISMI, declared to a parliamentary committee that "In 1985-1987 we organized a kind of golpe[9] in Tunisia, putting president Ben Ali as head of state, replacing Burghiba (the Italian spelling of the name) who wanted to flee". Bourguiba, although a symbol of anticolonial resistance, was considered incapable of leading his country any more, and his reaction to the rising Islamic integralism was deemed "a bit too energetic" by Martini; Bourguiba's threat to execute the suspects might have generated strong negative responses in neighboring countries. Acting under directives from Bettino Craxi, Italian Prime Minister, and foreign minister Giulio Andreotti, Martini claims to have brokered the accord that lead to the peaceful transition of powers.[10]
    Bettino Craxi had visited Algiers in November 1984, being warned by the president Chadli Benjedid that Algeria was ready to invade that region of Tunisia that was crossed by the pipeline towards Italy, if Bourguiba was not able to guarantee the stability of his own country. Algeria was trying to diversify his foreign policy, feeling isolated by Spain and by Mitterrand's accord with Morocco and Libya over Chad. For two years, according to Martini, Italian and Algerian secret services worked together in order, on one hand, to avoid the growing destabilisation of Tunisia spilling over into Algeria, and on the other hand to control pro-Palestinian terrorist activities in Italy. Finally, Ben Ali was singled out as possible replacement for Bourguiba: as chief of the Tunisian secret services and as Minister of the Interior, he had opposed plans for rough justice execution of fundamentalists. SISMI's action did not have the consent of René Imbot, head of the French secret service, and the USA was not informed. According to Martini, the SISMI did not have an operational role in Ben Ali's rise to power, but organized a political move to support politically and economically his new government, preventing Tunisia from falling into an open confrontation with fundamentalists, as happened in Algeria in the following years.[11]


    Large photographs of Ben Ali were widespread in Tunisia. This example was at the Office of Merchant Navy and Ports building.

    Tunisia held its first formally pluralistic legislative elections in 1994: opposition parties polled 2.25% and gained 19 of 163 seats in Parliament. Ben Ali, the only presidential candidate, was re-elected with 100% of the votes from a 95% turnout.[12]
    A constitutional referendum in 2002 established a two-chambered parliament, creating the Chamber of Advisers, and amended the upper age limit for a presidential candidate to 75 years old (previously 70).[13][14]
    Tunisia under Ben Ali saw problems of human rights violations, such as freedom of the press, highlighted by the official treatment of the journalist Taoufik Ben Brik, who was harassed and imprisoned for his criticism of Ben Ali.[15]
    On 25 October 2009, Ben Ali was re-elected for a fifth term with 89% of the vote.[16] The African Union sent a team of observers to cover the election. The delegation was led by Benjamin Bounkoulou who described the election as "free and fair".[17] However, a spokesperson from the US State Department indicated that Tunisia had not permitted monitoring of the election by international observers, but that the U.S. was still committed to working with the president of Tunisia and the Tunisian government.[18] There also were reports of mistreatment of an opposition candidate.[19]
    In December 2010 and January 2011, riots over unemployment escalated into a widespread popular protest movement against Ben Ali's government. On January 13, 2011, he announced he would not run for another term in 2014, and pledged steps to improve the economy and press freedom. The following day, however, thousands demonstrated in the center of Tunis, demanding Ben Ali's immediate resignation. On January 14, 2011, Ben Ali reportedly[20] fled the country to Saudi Arabia and a caretaker ruling committee headed by Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi was announced.

    As president, Ben Ali championed economic reforms that strengthened Tunisia’s economy and increased foreign investment. While President, Tunisia’s per capita GDP more than tripled from $1,201 in 1986 to $3,786 in 2008.[21] Although growth in 2002 slowed to a 15-year low of 1.9% due to drought and lackluster tourism, better conditions after 2003 helped push growth to about 5% of GDP. For about 20 years after 1987, the GDP annual growth averaged nearly 5%. A report published in July 2010 by the Boston Consulting Group (“The African Challengers: Global Competitors Emerge from the Overlooked Continent”) listed Tunisia as one of the African "Lions" and indicated the eight African lions account for 70% of the continent’s gross domestic product.[22] Steady increases in GDP growth continued through positive trade relations with the European Union, a revitalized tourism industry and sustained agricultural production. Privatization, increasing foreign investment, improvements in government efficiency and reduction of the trade deficit presented challenges for the future.[23][24] The 2010-2011 Global Competitiveness Report (Davos World Economic Forum) ranked Tunisia first in Africa and 32nd globally out of 139 countries.[25]
    According to the Oxford Business Group, Tunisia’s economy was likely to grow from 2008 due to its diversified industries.[26][27][28] Committed to fighting poverty at home, Ben Ali instituted reforms including the National Solidarity Fund which slashed the Tunisian poverty rate from 7.4% in 1990 to an estimated 3.8% in 2005. The National Solidarity Fund was part of a dual strategy to fight current and potential terrorism through economic assistance, development and the rule of law. The fund provided opportunities to those living in impoverished areas and are vulnerable to recruitment by terrorists. It was been a critical element in the fight against terrorism.[29]
    However, Tunisia continued to suffer from a high unemployment, especially among youth. Left out of the recent prosperity were many rural and urban poor, including small businesses facing the world market. This and the blocking of free speech were the causes of mass protests in December 2010-January 2011. It was the worst unrest the country has faced for at least a decade.

    Ben Ali with US Secretary of State Colin Powell in 2004

    During Ben Ali’s presidency, Tunisia pursued a moderate foreign policy promoting peaceful settlement of conflicts. Tunisia took a middle of the road approach contributing to peacemaking especially in the Middle East and Africa. Tunisia hosted the first-ever Palestinian American dialogue. While contributing actively to the Middle East peace process, Tunisian diplomacy has supported the Palestinian cause. As host to the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1982–1993, considerable efforts were made to moderate the views of the organization.[30] Tunisia, since the early 90s, called for a “concerted” international effort against terrorism. It was also a key US partner in the effort to fight global terrorism through the Trans-Saharan Counterterrorism Initiative.[31]
    President Ben Ali mostly retained his predecessor's pro-western foreign policy, though he improved ties with the Arab-Muslim world. He took several initiatives to promote solidarity, dialogue and cooperation among nations. President Ben Ali initiated the creation of the United Nations World Solidarity Fund to eradicate poverty and promote social development based on the successful experience of the Tunisian National Solidarity Fund.[32][33] Ben Ali also played a lead role in the UN’s proclaiming 2010 as the International Year of Youth.[34]
    International characterisations

    The regime he led was deemed authoritarian and undemocratic by independent international human rights groups such as Amnesty International, Freedom House, and Protection International. They criticized Tunisian officials for not observing international standards of political rights[35][36][37] and interfering with the work of local human rights organizations.[38] In The Economist's 2010 Democracy Index, Tunisia was classified as an authoritarian regime ranking 144th out of 167 countries studied. In 2008, in terms of freedom of the press, Tunisia was ranked 143 out of 173.[39][40]
    Ousted from presidency

    In response to the 2010–2011 Tunisian protests, Ben Ali declared a state of emergency in the country, dissolved the government on 14 January 2011 and promised new legislative elections within six months. However, events moved quickly and it appears the armed forces and key members of the legislature had lost confidence in the president and had decided to take steps of their own. With power slipping from his grasp Ben Ali resigned the presidency at about 4pm local time and delegated prime minister Mohamed Ghannouchi to act as head of state during his "temporary" absence. With the army surrounding the Presidential Palace in Tunis and perhaps in fear of retribution, Ben Ali and close members of his family hastily fled in four helicopters bound for Malta. Other close associates who attempted to leave the country via Tunis-Carthage International Airport were prevented from doing so by the army, which had seized the airport.
    From Malta, Ben Ali initially headed to exile in France but his plane was prevented from landing in Paris by the French authorities.[41] It was reported by Le Monde that a plane carrying some members of his family did land at Paris. It appears that Ben Ali was forced to reconsider his options mid air and amid conflicting rumours that he was heading for either Doha or Dubai he eventually arrived in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia early on Saturday 15 January, where he was welcomed by the authorities.[1][42]
    Succession confusions

    At about 18:00 local time, Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi went on state television to say:
    "Since the president is temporarily unable to exercise his duties, it has been decided that the prime minister will exercise temporarily the (presidential) duties."[41]
    However, this arrangement was very short lived because early the following day (Saturday 15 January 2011) the Constitutional Court of Tunisia determined that Ben Ali was not "temporarily unable" to exercise his duties and that the presidency was in fact vacant. The arrangements he had made with the Prime Minister before leaving the country were found to be unconstitutional under article 57 of the constitution. The country's constitutional court, the highest legal authority on constitutional matters, announced the transition on Saturday, saying Fouad Mebazaa (the Speaker of Parliament) had been appointed interim president.[41]
    Mebazaa took the oath in his office in parliament, swearing to respect the constitution in the presence of his senate counterpart Abdallal Kallel and representatives of both houses. It was also announced that the speaker of parliament would occupy the post of president temporarily and elections would be held within a period of between 45 and 60 days.[41]
    Legal entanglements

    On January 26, 2011, the Tunisian government issued an international arrest warrant for Ex-President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali accusing him of taking money out of the nation illegally. Ben Ali was also charged with illegally acquiring real estate and other assets abroad, Justice Minister Lazhar Karoui Chebbi said.[43] Video's show that in the presidents palace the president stashed millions of euro's and priceless jewelry. the gold and jewelry will be redistributed to the people by the government.[44] The Swiss government announced that it was freezing millions of dollars held in bank accounts by his family.[45] On January 28, 2011, Interpol issued an arrest warrant for Ben Ali and his six family members, including his wife Leila Trabelsi.[46]

    Ben Ali's wife Leila

    Ben Ali and his family were accused of great corruption,[47] which was a major contribution to recent events all across Tunisia protesting the theft of Tunisian wealth, and lack of opportunities for average Tunisians. Many of Ben Ali's family members subsequently left the country for reasons of personal safety[citation needed].
    Ben Ali’s wife and Tunisia’s former first lady Leïla Ben Ali was the chair of the Basma Association, a group that promotes social integration and provides employment opportunities for the disabled.[48] Leïla Ben Ali is also the president of the Arab Women Organization, that works to empower women to promote progress in Arab states.[49] In July 2010, the first lady founded the “SAIDA” Association (named after her late mother) to improve care for cancer patients in Tunisia.[50] Leïla Ben Ali has three children: Nesrine, Halima and Mohamed Zine El Abidine. Ben Ali also has three daughters from his first marriage: Ghazwa, Dorsaf and Cyrine.
    Leila Trabelsi reportedly took 1.5 tonnes of gold from the central bank when she and her family fled to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.[51]
    Her nephew, Imed Trabelsi, was arrested during the 2010-2011 protests in Tunisia.
    On 20 January 2011, Tunisian television reported that 33 members of Ben Ali's family had been arrested in the past week, as they tried to flee the country.[52]

    On 17 February 2011, it was reported that Ben Ali had suffered a stroke, and had been hospitalised for an indefinite period.[53] Aljazeera Satellite Channel reported that a Saudi source has confirmed that Ben Ali has indeed sustained severe complications of a stroke and that he is in critical condition