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Mohamed Ghannouchi

Mohamed Ghannouchi
محمد الغنوشي
Prime Minister of Tunisia
In office
17 November 1999 – 27 February 2011
President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali
Fouad Mebazaa (Acting)
Preceded by Hamed Karoui
Succeeded by Béji Caïd Essebsi
President of Tunisia
In office
14 January 2011 – 15 January 2011
Preceded by Zine El Abidine Ben Ali
Succeeded by Fouad Mebazaa (Acting)
Personal details
Born (1941-08-18) 18 August 1941
Sousse, French Protectorate of Tunisia
(now Tunisian Republic)
Political party Independent (2011–present)[1]
Other political
Constitutional Democratic Rally (Before 2011)
Spouse(s) Name Private
Children 2
Alma mater Tunis University
Religion Islam

Mohamed Ghannouchi (Tunisian Arabic: محمد الغنوشيMuhammad El-Ghanushi; born 18 August 1941) is a Tunisian politician who was Prime Minister of Tunisia from 1999 to 2011. Regarded as a technocrat, Ghannouchi was a long-standing figure in the Tunisian government under President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

After Ben Ali's ousting in the 2011 Tunisian Revolution, he remained Prime Minister for six weeks before stepping down.


  • Political career 1
    • WikiLeaks description 1.1
    • Role following 2010–2011 Tunisian uprising 1.2
  • Awards and honors 2
  • Personal life 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Political career

Ghannouchi is a member of the Tunisian parliament for the Democratic Constitutional Rally. He was Minister of Finance from 1989 to 1992. From 1992 to 1999, he served as Minister of International Co-operation and Foreign Investment, and from 1999 to 2011 he was the Prime Minister of Tunisia,[2] making him the longest serving prime minister since the proclamation of independence, surpassing his predecessor Hamed Karoui.[2]

After the fall of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali on 14 January 2011 in the wake of the 2010–2011 Tunisian uprising, he was the self-proclaimed acting President of the country for a few hours starting on 14 January 2011,[3][4] under Article 56 of the Constitution of Tunisia.[5][6] He remained Prime Minister for six weeks before stepping down.

WikiLeaks description

In a 2006 diplomatic cable from the United States that was leaked by WikiLeaks during the United States diplomatic cables leak, Ghannouchi was described as being generally popular among the population of Tunisia.[7] Ghannouchi was seen as a respected technocrat by US diplomats in early 2010, with a cable stating, "Prime Minister Ghannouchi, the respected, dilligent [sic], pragmatic, and apolitical technocrat, has served in his post since 1999 and with his reappointment appears set to surpass longevity records for senior officials since Tunisia's independence in 1956. Tunis oddsmakers had expected Ghannouchi, reportedly tired after a decade on the job, to move on, but it appears Ben Ali has come to view him as indispensable."[8] Passport, a blog by Foreign Policy, gave a different view of Ghannouchi, saying he "is not necessarily any more popular than Ben Ali, though he's not nearly as tainted by the lurid tales of corruption and excess that so damaged the ruling family. But Tunisians certainly don't respect the prime minister; they call him 'Mr. Oui Oui' because he's always saying yes to Ben Ali".[9]

Role following 2010–2011 Tunisian uprising

On 14 January 2011, before Ben Ali had fled the country during the Tunisian Revolution, Ghannouchi announced that Ben Ali had called for parliamentary elections in six months, dismissed the government, and asked him to form a new government.[10] During the evening, Ghannouchi announced that he was taking temporary control of the country on state television.[11] Ghannouchi promised to begin discussing political and economic reforms the next day.[12] Ghannouchi has said he will hold new elections within sixty days, as required by the Tunisian Constitution.[13] On January 15, The Economist reported that some protesters were calling for Ghannouchi to step down.[13] On that same day, it was announced that Congress Speaker Fouad Mebazaa was taking the post of Acting President of Tunisia.[14]

Al Jazeera claimed that some lawyers disagreed with Ghannouchi's claim to power, interpreting the constitution differently, in particular referring to Article 57.[15]

Afterwards he resumed as Prime Minister and formed a new national unity government that included members of opposition parties, civil society representatives, and even a blogger, Slim Amamou, who only a week previous had been imprisoned by the regime of the deposed President.[16]

Ghannouchi resigned his membership of the RCD on 18 January. His resignation was followed by similar action by the other RCD members within the government; but on 27 January, Ghannouchi carried out a major reshuffle of the government to remove all former RCD members other than himself.

After a new wave of protests, Ghannouchi resigned as PM on 27 February 2011.[17][18]

Awards and honors

  • Knight of the Order of Independence
  • Grand Cordon of the Order of the Republic
  • Grand Cordon of the Order of 7 November[19]

Personal life

Ghannouchi is married and has two children.[19]

See also


  1. ^ "New government leaders quit ruling party". BBC. 18 January 2011. 
  2. ^ a b TUNISIA - Mohamed Ghannouchi, AllBusiness, 9 April 2001
  3. ^ "Tunisia: President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali forced out". BBC News. 14 January 2011. Archived from the original on 15 January 2011. Retrieved 15 January 2011. 
  4. ^ Chrisafis, Angelique (14 January 2011). "Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali flees Tunisia as interim president takes control".  
  5. ^ "Ben Ali quits after 23 yrs in power & leaves Tunisia".  
  6. ^ "PM replaces Tunisia president".  
  7. ^ Black, Ian (15 January 2011). "Tunisia: The WikiLeaks connection". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 January 2011. 
  8. ^ Gray, Gordon (15 January 2010). "Ben Ali's January 14 cabinet shuffle is a nod to the U.S., but not a strategic reversal". WikiLeaks/Al Akhbar.  
  9. ^ Hounshell, Blake. "Mr. Oui Oui takes charge". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 15 January 2011. 
  10. ^ "Ben Ali dismissed the government". # Ennaharonline. 14 January 2011. Archived from the original on 26 July 2011. Retrieved 15 January 2011. 
  11. ^ Kirkpatrick, David (14 January 2011). "Prime Minister Claims Power in Tunisia as President Flees".  
  12. ^ Borzou Daragahi; Sihem Hassaini (15 January 2011). "Tunisia protests force president from power". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 15 January 2011. 
  13. ^ a b "Mohamed Ghannouchi".  
  15. ^ "Constitutional debate after Ben Ali". Al Jazeera. 14 January 2011. Archived from the original on 14 January 2011. Retrieved 15 January 2011. 
  16. ^ "Out with the old?". The Economist. 19 January 2011. Archived from the original on 20 January 2011. Retrieved 19 January 2011. 
  17. ^ Tunisian interim PM Ghannouchi resigns over protests, BBC News, 27 February 2011
  18. ^ Tunisia prime minister resigns after protests, Reuters, 27 February 2011
  19. ^ a b Mr Mohammed Ghannouchi Portal of the Prime ministry- Tunisia

External links

  • Tunisian Government Official Website
  • Transcript of Tunisian Prime Minister’s Announcement That He Has Assumed Power, The New York Times, 14 January 2011
Political offices
Preceded by
Hamed Karoui
Prime Minister of Tunisia
Succeeded by
Béji Caïd Essebsi
Preceded by
Zine El Abidine Ben Ali
President of Tunisia

Succeeded by
Fouad Mebazaa
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