Former Tunisia’s autocrat, Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali, has died in exile in Saudi Arabia on Thursday, few days after a free presidential election in his homeland.
His Family lawyer, Mounir Ben Salha who revealed this through told Reuters “Ben Ali just died in Saudi Arabia,”
He was 83 years old.
Ben Ali ran from Tunisia in January 2011 as the country rose up against his oppressive rule in a revolution that inspired other Arab Spring uprisings abroad and led to a democratic transition at home.
According to Aljazeera, on Sunday, Tunisians voted in an election that featured candidates from across the political spectrum, sending two political outsiders through to a second round vote unthinkable during Ben Ali’s own era of power.
However, while they have enjoyed a much smoother march to democracy than citizens of the other Arab states that also rose up in 2011, many of them are economically worse off than they were under Ben Ali.
While almost all the candidates in Sunday’s election were vocal champions of the revolution, one of them, Abir Moussi, campaigned as a supporter of Ben Ali’s ousted government, receiving 4 percent of the vote.