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UPDATE: Tunisia & Africa’s oldest President dies in office @ 92

Africa’s oldest President, Tunisia’s Beji Caid Essebsi is dead aged 92.

Essebsi died after being admitted to hospital in intensive care on Thursday.

Late Beji Caid Essebsi

At the end of June, it was announced that he was in hospital with a severe health crisis.

In April, he announced that he was not going to stand for re-election on 17 November despite calls for him to run.

He won the country’s first free presidential poll in 2014.

He was the interim prime minister after the 2011 uprising.

Before assuming the presidency in 2014, Mr Essebsi had served on-off in ministerial roles since the 1960s, including as the interior minister and speaker of parliament.

He came to power as the founder and leader of a secular party – Nida Tounes (Call of Tunisia) – who opposed Islamists in government.

More on the death of Tunisia’s president

Tunisia’s first freely elected president Beji Caid Essebsi has died aged 92, the country’s presidency says.

He was the world’s oldest sitting president. He was admitted to hospital on Wednesday but officials did not say why he was receiving treatment.

Mr Essebsi won Tunisia’s first free elections in 2014 following Arab uprisings across the region.

Earlier this year, he announced he would not stand in elections expected in November.

Mr Essebsi was also admitted to hospital last month after suffering what officials said was a “severe health crisis”.

They gave no further details. Prime Minister Youssef Chahed, who visited him in hospital, urged people to stop spreading “fake news” about his condition.

Former Tunisian President Zine el-Abedine Ben Ali was ousted in 2011 after 23 years in office.

Since then, Tunisia has won praise as the only democracy to emerge from the revolutions of the so-called Arab spring.




[Additional information by BBC]

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