Since the first stirrings of revolt erupted in Tunisia on December 17, 2010, the entire Islamic East has been engulfed in civil uprisings. Two tyrants — General Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali and General Hosni Mubarak — have been swept from power.
General Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali’s ouster from power has opened Tunisia’s political landscape somewhat. Political parties and various groups, such as trade unions and lawyers’ associations, are jostling to secure an advantageous position in the uncertain political climate that currently reflects Tunisian society. Political parties that existed legally were obviously tainted by cooperation with the regime.
Friends and neighbors of Abouzizi’s were so horrified by his suicide that his funeral was turned into a protest rally despite threats from the police.
The Tunisian dictator, General Zine el-Abidin Ben Ali has been driven from power. The leaderless uprising that forced his departure has been dubbed a “revolution” and Ben Ali’s flight has aroused hopes among people in the Middle East that they too can get rid of their dictators, most of them aging and in power for far too long.
Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, the Tunisian dictator, fled the country on January 14 amid mounting protests over high unemployment, escalating food prices, widespread government corruption and severe restrictions on people's freedoms.
Family members of the ousted Tunisian dictator, General Zine el-Abidin Ben Ali have arrived in Montreal, Canada even as France and the US have refused them entry.
There is hardly any doubt that the majority of the people in the three Maghreb countries – Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia – believe their leaders to be autocratic, corrupt and closely allied with the West against Islamic groups in the region. Add to this belief the fact that wealth in all three countries is monopolised by rich elites, while most people are deprived and poor, and it becomes plain why there is so much popular resistance to the ruling elites and the long-serving rulers they maintain in power.
A referendum in Tunisia, held on May 26 to approve amendments to the constitution proposed by president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, secured 99.52 percent of the votes cast. This result makes it possible for Ben Ali to stay in office until 2014, and gives him immunity from prosecution for life.
Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, president of Tunisia, is applauded in western capitals for maintaining peace and stability in his country. This he has achieved by bludgeoning the Islamic party, An-Nahdha, into submission with mass arrests, imprisonments, torture and exile. At the same time, he maintains a reputation for respecting human rights.