The key players in Tunisia's Jasmine Revolution(Read article summary)
Tunisia's 'Jasmine Revolution' is still under way, with fighting in the capital today. Here are some of the key players driving events.
The enraged Tunisians who took to the streets in December in revulsion at their corrupt, autocratic regime achieved their primary goal: The removal from power of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. But what sort of new order will emerge in the North African country, or whether it will be much different from the old one, has not yet been determined.
Here's a list of some of the key individuals and actors who will shape the future:
Former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali: The ousted president is now in Saudi Arabia, after the plane he fled on appeared to have been denied permission to land in Malta and Paris, France being Tunisia's former ruler. Born in 1937, he followed a well-trod path to power for post-colonial rulers, joining the anti-French Neo Destour movement while in high school. He also received military training at St. Cyr, France's most prestigious military school. After Tunisia gained independence in 1956, he joined the nation's military, with a specialization in internal security and intelligence. In 1985, he was named Interior minister, making him chief enforcer and suppressor of internal dissent for Tunisia's first president, Habib Bourguiba. In 1987, he led a sweeping crackdown against Islamists for Bourguiba, and was named prime minister. Ben Ali soon turned on Bourguiba, and when doctors declared Bourguiba mentally unfit to rule, stepped in as president.
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