علي عبد الله صالح السنحاني (ولد 21 مارس 1942)، كان الرئيس السادس للجمهورية العربية اليمنية من 1978 حتى 1990 ليصبح أول رئيس للجمهورية اليمنية. تعد فترة حكمه أطول فترة حكم لرئيس في اليمن منذ العام 1978 وحتي تسليمه للسلطة في 25 فبراير 2012،يحمل رتبة المشير العسكرية ، وهو صاحب ثاني أطول فترة حكم من بين الحكام العرب - الذين هم على قيد الحياة حاليا.
وصل علي إلى رأس السلطة في البلاد عقب مقتل الرئيس أحمد الغشمي بفترة قصيرة إذ تنحى عبد الكريم العرشي وإستلم صالح رئاسة البلاد في فترة صعبة حكم علي عبد الله صالح بالاعتماد على تحالفات قبلية وربط زعماء القبائل اليمنية به شخصيا وتذيلت البلاد أيام عهده قائمة منظمة الشفافية الدولية المعنية بالفساد.
قامت احتجاجات ضد حكمه عام 2011 (ثورة الشباب اليمنية) وسلم صالح السلطة بعد سنة كاملة من الإحتجاجات بموجب "المبادرة الخليجية" الموقعة بين المؤتمر الشعبي العام و أحزاب اللقاء المشترك والتي أقرت تسليم صالح للسلطة بعد إجراء انتخابات عامة كما أقرت لصالح حصانة من الملاحقة القانونية وتم إقرار قانون الحصانة في مجلس النواب اليمني واعتباره قانونا سياديا لا يجوز الطعن فيه وهو مايعتبر مخالفة صريحة لدستور البلاد تولى نائبه عبد ربه منصور هادي رئاسة المرحلة الانتقالية.
Ali Abdullah Saleh (Arabic: علي عبدالله صالح, ʿAlī ʿAbdullāh Ṣāliḥ, born 21 March 1942) is a Yemeni politician who was President of Yemen from 1990 to 2012. Saleh previously served as President of North Yemen from 1978 until unification with South Yemen in 1990.
After more than 33 years in power, Saleh signed the Gulf Cooperation Council agreement in November 2011, paving the way for his vice president to become acting president until 21 February 2012; at that point the vice president would be elected to the presidency. On 22 January 2012, the Yemeni parliament passed a law that granted Saleh immunity from being prosecuted and he left Yemen for treatment in the United States. Saleh stepped down and formally ceded power to his deputy Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi at the Presidential Palace on 27 February 2012.
Saleh was born in the town of Bait el-Ahmar, in the Al Ahmar family of the small Sanhan tribe, a tribe whose territories lie some 20 kilometers southeast of the capital Sana'a (the Al Ahmar family of Sanhan is often falsely confounded with the same-named ruling family of the Hashid tribal confederacy, a confederacy to which the Sanhan tribe belongs). Saleh is a Zaydi Shia Muslim. He is a "non-Hashimi" Zaydi (not a direct descendant of the Islamic prophet Muhammad's grandfather), and would not have been eligible to rule under the Zaydi Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen that ruled the country until 1962.
Saleh obtained less than an elementary school education. He joined the North Yemeni armed forces in 1958 and the North Yemen Military Academy in 1960, and became a corporal. Three years later, he was commissioned from the ranks as a second lieutenant. In 1977, the President of North Yemen, Ahmed bin Hussein al-Ghashmi, appointed him as military governor of Ta'izz.
After al-Ghashmi was assassinated on 24 June 1978, Saleh was appointed to be a member of the four-man provisional presidency council and deputy to the general staff commander. On 17 July 1978, Saleh was elected by the Parliament to be the President of the Yemen Arab Republic, chief of staff and commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Ali Abdullah Saleh was a long-time ally of Iraq's Saddam Hussein and supported Hussein's invasion of Kuwait in 1990. After Iraq lost the Gulf War, Yemeni workers were deported from Kuwait by the restored government.
In the 1993 parliamentary election, the first held after unification, Saleh's General People's Congress won 122 of 301 seats. On 24 December 1997, Parliament approved Saleh's promotion to the rank of field marshal. He is currently the highest-ranking military officer in Yemen. Saleh became Yemen's first directly-elected president in the 1999 presidential election, winning 96.2% of the vote.
In July 2005, during the 27th anniversary celebrations of his presidency, Saleh announced that he would "not contest the [presidential] elections" in September 2006. Faisal bin Shamlan, received 21.8%. Saleh was sworn in for another term on 27 September.
In the 2006 presidential election, held on 20 September Saleh won with 77.2% of the vote. His main rival,
On 2 February 2011, facing a major national uprising, Saleh announced that he would not seek re-election in 2013, but would serve out the remainder of his term. In response to government violence against unarmed protesters, eleven MPs of Saleh's party resigned on 23 February. By 5 March, this number had increased to 13, as well as the addition of two deputy ministers.
Saleh departed the United States for Ethiopia on 24 February 2012 after receiving medical treatment.
He returned to Yemen the next day. He arrived at the military airport in Sana'a hours before the oath taking of his successor Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi which resulted into protests against his return and the inability of the new government to prevent his entry into Yemen. On 27 February 2012, Saleh formally ceded power to his deputy Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and stepped down as the President of Yemen, pledging to support his efforts to "rebuild" a country still reeling from months of violence.
In February 2013, Saleh opened a museum documenting his 33 years in power, located in a wing of the Saleh mosque in Sanaa. One of the museum's central display cases exhibits a pair of burnt trousers that Saleh was wearing at the time of his assassination attempt in June 2011. Other displays include fragments of shrapnel that were taken out of his body during his hospit
al treatment in Saudi Arabia, as well as various gifts given to Saleh by kings, presidents and world leaders over the course of his rule.