The first regime to fall. President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali was ousted on January 14 after 23 years in power and less than a month after protests were sparked by a young graduate who set himself on fire in protest at a lack of economic opportunities. Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia, where he is reportedly in a coma. Those now in temporary power in Tunisia want Ben Ali extradited back to face justice. The interim government has received aid pledges from the European Union but is yet to bring the country fully under control. Protests continue, with many people demanding the resignations of all members of the former regime from the interim government led by Mohamed Ghannouchi. Several ministers have resigned from the interim government. Elections are scheduled for later this year.
Political system: republic
President: Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali – 1987 / 2011
Population: 10.4 million
Human Development Index1: 81st
1 HDI is calculated according to factors such as schooling, life expectancy and gross national income and is used by the UN’s Development Programme for its Human development reports.