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Tunisia president Beji Caid Essebsi dies aged 92

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Beji Caid Essebsi, seen in this February 2019 picture, is Tunisia’s first democratically elected president

President of Tunisis Beji Caid Essebsi has died at the age of 92 after being taken to a military hospital on Wednesday for the second time in the last one month.

Beji Caid Essebsi was a Tunisian politician who was the fifth President of Tunisia from December 2014 until his death. Previously he served as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1981 to 1986 and as Prime Minister from February 2011 to December 2011.

The presidency was not immediately available for an official comment.

Hafedh Caid Essebsi the president’s son said that Essebsi was hospitalized on Wednesday after he suffered the effects of last month’s crisis, confirming an earlier report on local radio.

Essebsi, a major player in the country’s transition to democracy since 2011, had been hospitalised late last month and spent a week in hospital after suffering a “severe health crisis”.

But the president has only appeared twice since leaving the hospital on July 1.

Essebsi has been a prominent figure in Tunisia since the overthrow of veteran autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011, which was followed by uprisings against authoritarian leaders across the Middle East, including in nearby Libya and Egypt.

Parliamentary elections are expected to be held on Oct. 6 with a presidential vote following on Nov. 17. They will be the third set of polls in which Tunisians can vote freely following the 2011 revolution.

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