Zayn al-‘Ābidīn bin ‘Alī), (born 3 September 1936) is the President of the Republic of Tunisia. He has held this office since 7 November 1987. He was appointed Prime Minister in October 1987, and assumed the Presidency in November 1987, succeeding President Habib Bourguiba who was declared incompetent . The regime he leads is deemed "authoritarian" and undemocratic by independent international human rights groups as well as conservative western newspapers such as The Economist. Independent human rights groups, such as Amnesty International, Freedom House, and Protection International, have criticized Tunisian officials for not observing international standards of political rights, In the The Economist's 2010 Democracy Index Tunisia is classified as an authoritarian regime ranking 144th out of 167 countries studied. In 2008, in terms of freedom of the press, Tunisia was ranked 143 out of 173..
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, Zayn al-‘Ābidīn bin ‘Alī; born 3 September 1936) is the former President of the Tunisian Republic. He held the office from 7 November, 1987, until he was forced to step down and flee the country on 14 January, 2011. Ben Ali was appointed Prime Minister in October 1987, and assumed the Presidency in November 1987 in a bloodless coup d'état from then President Habib Bourguiba, who was declared incompetent. Ben Ali was subsequently re-elected with enormous majorities at every election, the final time being 25 October, 2009.