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Vol 50 No 1

Published 9th January 2009


Rumblings of dissent

Ben Ali's fifth and final term approaches

Like its western neighbour, Tunisia is a prime target for Islamist fighters. President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali (born September 1936) has used the AQIM threat to rationalise his extremely hard line on the Islamist opposition, a policy that has also stifled non-Islamist opposition and media activity. A former security officer who evicted founding President Habib Bourguiba in November 1987, Ben Ali has supported the emergence of an efficient, pro-European economy but has also created a police state, prone to crony capitalism.

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