Between 4 June and 23 September 2011, Hadi was the acting President of Yemen while Ali Abdullah Saleh was undergoing medical treatment in Saudi Arabia following an attack on the presidential palace during the 2011 Yemeni uprising. On 23 November, he became Acting President again, after Saleh moved into a non-active role pending the presidential election "in return for immunity from prosecution". Hadi was "expected to form a national unity government and also call for early presidential elections within 90 days" while Saleh continued to serve as President in name only. Mansour Hadi was chosen as a president for a two-year transitional period on February 21, 2012, in an election in which he was the only candidate. His mandate was extended for another year in January 2014. However, he remained in power after the expiration of his mandate.
On 22 January 2015, he was forced to resign by the Houthis after a mass protest against his decision to raise the fuel subsidies and due to dissatisfaction with the outcome of the 2011 Revolution. Subsequently, the Houthis and the supporters of Saleh seized the presidential palace and placed Hadi under house arrest. A month later, he escaped to his hometown of Aden, rescinded his resignation, and denounced the Houthi takeover as an unconstitutional coup d'état. The Houthis named a Revolutionary Committee to assume the powers of the presidency, as well as the General People's Congress, Hadi's own political party. On 25 March 2015, after the beginning of the Yemeni Civil War, Hadi fled Yemen in a boat as Houthi forces advanced on Aden. He arrived in Riyadh the next day, as Saudi Arabia began a bombing campaign in support of his government. He returned to Aden in September 2015, as Saudi-backed government forces recaptured the city. In late 2017, he was reportedly residing in Riyadh under house arrest.
Young Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi during his service in the army of South Yemen.
Hadi was born in 1945 in Thukain, Abyan, a southern Yemeni governorate. He graduated from a military academy in the Federation of South Arabia in 1964. In 1966 he graduated after receiving a military scholarship to study in Britain, but does not speak English.
In 1970, he received another military scholarship to study tanks in Egypt for six years. Hadi spent the following four years in the Soviet Union studying military leadership. He occupied several military posts in the army of South Yemen until 1986, when he fled to North Yemen with Ali Nasser Mohammed, president of South Yemen, after Ali Nasser's faction of the ruling Yemeni Socialist Party lost the 1986 civil war.