Abstract

Abstract:

In 1987 Tunisian prime minister Zine al-'Abidine Ben 'Ali seized power from the ailing president, Habib Bourguiba. Less well-known is that Ben 'Ali's coup had preempted another coup plot planned for the following day. This article recounts the story of this latter plot, led by the November 8th Group, a coalition of about 200 individuals in the military, security forces, and the Islamic Tendency Movement (MTI). Drawing on memoirs and interviews, the article explores the plotters' motivations, post-takeover plans, and ultimate failure. It highlights how Bourguiba's coup-proofing strategies shaped the plot and its outcome, concluding with a discussion on the foiled coup's lasting impact on Tunisian civil-military relations.

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