Tunisia’s ex-dictator Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali died in Saudi Arabia on 19 September where he had been forced into exile since his overthrow by a mass uprising in 2011. His death comes just two months after Tunisia’s first democratically elected president Beji Caid Essebsi passed away, triggering early presidential elections which took place on 15 September.
Mr Ben Ali ruled Tunisia for 23 years. He forced his former boss, Tunisia’s first president Habib Bourguiba, aside and took over in 1987, ruling with an iron fist. He kept promising democratization but those votes that did take place were tightly controlled, guaranteeing Ben Ali a supposed 90%+ share of the vote. As he opened up the economy, those around him got rich while inequality among Tunisians rose. (CONTINUED - 331 WORDS)