Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi (92) passed on Thursday morning. He was admitted to the army hospital in capital Tunis for health reasons on Wednesday.
Essebsi had to go to the hospital in June due to “serious health problems”, where he had to stay for a week. He was re-admitted Wednesday according to the consequences of these complaints.
After the expulsion of President Zine Al Abidine Ben Ali in 2011, Essebsi became a prominent politician. He played a vital role in the transition to a democratic government in Tunisia.
The popular uprising against Ben Ali heralded the start of the Arab Spring. In other countries in the Middle East, dictators also had to give way after mass protests. Essebsi became the first freely elected president of Tunisia in 2014.
Legislative elections are taking place in the North African country in October, one month before a new president is elected. Parliament’s President Mohamed Ennaceur takes over the duties of Essebsi as interim president, as stipulated in the constitution.