Mohammed Mzali

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Mohamed Mzali
محمد مزالي
Mohamed mzali.jpg
Prime Minister of Tunisia
In office
23 April 1980 – 8 July 1986
Preceded by Hédi Nouira
Succeeded by Rachid Sfar
Personal details
Born (1925-12-23)23 December 1925
Monastir, Tunisia
Died 23 June 2010(2010-06-23) (aged 84)
Paris, France
Political party Socialist Destourian Party
Spouse(s) Fethia Mzali (1950–2010)

Mohammed Mzali (Arabic: محمد مزالي‎, 23 December 1925 – 23 June 2010) was a Tunisian politician who served as Prime Minister between 1980 and 1986.

Early life

Mzali was born in Monastir, Tunisia in 1925. His descends from a family whose ancestor came from the Ait Mzal tribe, a Masmuda clan from the Sous who established the Hafsid dynasty in Tunisia in the 13th century. His ancestors settled in Tunisia after coming back from the Haj in the late 17th century.[1]

Prime minister

Mzali was appointed Prime Minister of Tunisia by President Habib Bourguiba on 23 April 1980.[citation needed] In December 1983, under pressure from the International Monetary Fund, the government removed subsidies on flour and bread. This triggered the Tunisian bread riots, which were violently suppressed by the security forces with many deaths.[2] President Bourguiba announced on 6 January 1984 that the increase in the price of bread and flour had been cancelled.[3] He gave the impression that Mzali had not been authorized to raise prices.[4]

The clumsy handling of the price rise damaged the position of Mzali, who had been seen as the probable successor to Bourguiba.[5] Mzali temporarily assumed the post of Minister of the Interior.[6] In an attempt to recover his popularity Mzali toured the provinces after the riots, promising projects to create new jobs.[7] Mzali said, "the first lesson to be drawn from the events of January was that it is necessary to reorganise the forces of order so that they can respond adequately to all situations."[6]

Later career

Mzali was dismissed in 1986 and fled to France.[8] He was replaced by Rachid Sfar. Mzali wrote many books, one of them untitled "Un Premier ministre de Bourguiba témoigne". He served as a member of the International Olympic Committee from 1965 until his death. Mzali died on 23 June 2010 in Paris, France.[9]

Personal life

Mzali met Fethia Mokhtar while they were both studying in Paris and they married in 1950. They had six children. She served as Tunisia's Minister for Women from 1983 until 1986.[10]


  1. ^ Mzali 2004, p. 86.
  2. ^ Guay 2015.
  3. ^ Gana 2013, p. 11.
  4. ^ Gana 2013, p. 66.
  5. ^ Lief 1984.
  6. ^ a b Walton & Seddon 2008, p. 204–205.
  7. ^ Entelis 1997, p. 82.
  8. ^ R, Jonathan C.; al; R, Jonathan C.; al (1987-03-22). "TUNISIAN LEADER CONSOLIDATING POWER". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2017-07-20.
  9. ^ Associated Press 2010.
  10. ^ Hlaoui, Noureddine (23 June 2010). "Tunisie - Décès de Mohamed Mzali". Business News (in French). Retrieved 7 April 2017.


  • Associated Press (24 June 2010). "Former Tunisian Premier Mohamed Mzali, International Olympic Committee member, dies at 85". Fox News.
  • Entelis, John Pierre (1997). Islam, Democracy, and the State in North Africa. Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-21131-X. Retrieved 2015-05-13.
  • Gana, Nouri (2013). The Making of the Tunisian Revolution: Contexts, Architects, Prospects. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-7486-9103-6. Retrieved 2015-05-13.
  • Guay, Jean-Herman (2015). "29 décembre 1983: Déclenchement des émeutes du pain en Tunisie". Perspective Monde. Retrieved 2015-05-12.
  • Lief, Louise (10 January 1984). "Tunisia's riots pose troubling questions". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 2015-05-12.
  • Mzali, Mohamed Mzali (2004). Un Premier ministre de Bourguiba témoigne. Paris: Jean Picollec.
  • Walton, John K.; Seddon, David (2008-09-15). Free Markets and Food Riots: The Politics of Global Adjustment. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-470-71271-9. Retrieved 2015-05-13.

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