Tunisian Statesman. He served as the 2nd President of Tunisia from November 7, 1987 to January 15, 2011. He also served as the Prime Minister of Tunisia from October 2, 1987 to November 7, 1987. He joined the newly formed Tunisian Army in 1958 and later began his professional military career after attending training schools in both France and the United States. He served as the military intelligence chief from 1964 to 1974 and later as General Director of National Security from 1977 to 1980. In 1980, he was appointed the ambassador to Poland and served in this post for four years. After the Tunisian bread riots in January of 1984, he was re-appointed to the post of General Director of National Security. He would later serve as interior minister before being appointed prime minister by President Habib Bourguiba in October of 1987. A month later, he removed Bourguiba from power after doctors had declared Bourguiba medically incapacitated and unfit to fulfill the duties of the presidency. He became president and served in this position for the next twenty-four years before anti-government demonstrations and riots caused him and his family to step down and flee to Saudi Arabia in 2011. During his tenure in power, the economy grew, but many of the rural and urban poor were left out of the prosperity. This, along with the blocking of free speech, caused his downfall. His regime was also seen as corrupt and had one of the worst human rights records in Africa. He remained in exile until his passing.
Bio by: Mr. Badger Hawkeye