Tunisian president hospitalized due to health issues

27 Juillet, 2019, 00:24 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Interim president Ennaceur sworn in as Tunisia plans Essebsi funeral

Beji Caid Essebsi, Tunisia's first democratically elected president, died on Thursday at a military hospital in the capital Tunis, after being admitted the night before.

Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi waits for his meeting with German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen on 29 July 2015 in Tunis' Carthage Palace.

"The question of whether the presidential elections will be organised before or after the parliamentary elections will be decided by the commission", Baffoun added.

In 2014, Essebsi was elected Tunisia's leader in the country's first democratic election.

The country's electoral commission announced later that the presidential election would be held on September 15, two months earlier than previously scheduled.

Parliamentary elections are due to be held on October 9.

He was the world's oldest sitting president.

Tunisia is often described as the lone success story of the revolutions of 2011 because of its slow but steady progress towards democracy, despite extended economic problems.

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He came out of retirement in 2011 to form a political party and win the country's first post-Arab Spring election, and was seen as a much-needed moderate stabilizing force at a time when Tunisia might have slipped into Islamist fundamentalism.

After a long absence from the political scene, Essebsi returned to politics as prime minister during the brief transitional government formed after Ben Ali was ousted in the 2011 revolution.

He emerged from retirement to seek the presidency at age 88, presenting his centrist movement as a bulwark against rising Islamic fundamentalism and political chaos that rocked Tunisia after the people's people's revolt overthrew a longtime dictator and unleashed similar movements throughout the region.

Tunisia's constitution, adopted in 2014, provides two measures in such a case either the prime minister can take over the president's responsibilities for a period of no more than 60 days.

The president has been sent to hospitals regarding health issues for the third time in over a month.

The Tunisian constitution calls for the parliament leader to take over temporarily in case the president is incapacitated.

Essebsi neither rejected nor enacted an amended electoral code passed by parliament in June that would bar the way for several strong candidates.

Essebsi served in several positions, including as speaker of parliament, while Ben Ali was still in power.

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