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Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi dies at 92

By Edith Mutethya in Nairobi, Kenya | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-07-25 18:31

Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi speaks during a news conference at the Carthage Palace in Tunis, Tunisia Nov 8, 2018. [Photo/Agencies]

Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi died on Thursday aged 92, according to a statement from the presidency.

Essebsi, the North African country's first democratically elected leader, died at the military hospital in the country's capital, Tunis.

He was first been admitted to hospital on June 27 with what authorities said was a severe medical crisis.

He was readmitted to the intensive care unit on Thursday before passing away in the early hours.

Essebsi was elected president in 2014 in the country's first free presidential election, following a revolution that ousted autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben A in 2011.

According to Tunisia's constitution adopted in 2014, the country's prime minister can take over presidential responsibilities for a maximum of 60 days.

Alternatively the parliament speaker can take the role for up to 90 days, if a longer term is required. However the overall decision lies with the constitutional court.

The country's presidential elections are scheduled for November 17, 2019, with a second round on November 24 if no candidate is elected in the first round.

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