Tunisia is the smallest country of the Greater Maghreb in terms of area (163,610 km2) and its population in 2013 was 10,886,000 inhabitants (NIS). Due to its geographical position, the territory was the target of many colonial and expansionist civilisations. Tunisia was first Phoenician, then Roman, Christian before becoming Vandal and Byzantine, Arab and Ottoman. Finally, it was under the French tutelage formalised May 12, 1881 by the Treaty of Bardo. Independence was achieved in 1956 after 75 years. There then followed a proclamation of the republic and the appointment of Habib Bourguiba as president on July 25 1957. An amendment of the constitution grants him life Presidency on 18 March 1975. In 1987 he left power, deposed by Prime Minister Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. The latter gets 99.3% of votes during the 1994 elections. He was re-elected in 1999, 2004 and 2009.