Stephen Harper (born April 30, 1959) is a Canadian politician who is currently the 4th President of the Republic of Canada, a position he assumed on December 1, 2012 upon the mandatory retirement of his predecessor, Bill Graham. Prior to the Presidency, Harper was the Prime Minister of Canada from February 2007 until his resignation on November 30, and served as the leader of the Conservative Party in the Parliament from 2004 through his resignation. Prior to this, he was the leader of the Reform Party, replacing predecessor Stockwell Day in 2002.
During the Communist era, Harper was a member of the Progressive Alliance and was twice arrested and tortured by the Canadian People's Ministry of Security during the 1980s. He was elected to a riding in native Alberta in the 1989 general election and held the seat continuously through his retirement.