Tunisian president hospitalized in 'severe health crisis'

June 27, 2019 16:20
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Breaking news. (photo credit: JPOST STAFF)

Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi, 92, a major player since the country's transition to democracy since 2011, was on Thursday taken to a military hospital after suffering a "severe health crisis," the presidency said.

One of his advisers told Reuters he was in a "very critical" condition but was alive. No more details were immediately available.Essebsi was hospitalized last week as well, for what the presidency described as non-serious treatment.

Essebsi has been a prominent figure in Tunisia since the overthrow of autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011 which set the North African country on a path to democracy, avoiding the more violent upheavals seen in the rest of the region.

He led the immediate transition as prime minister in 2011 and was elected president three years later. Essebsi was a senior figure before 2011, having served as foreign minister under state founder Habib Bourguiba and parliamentary speaker under Ben Ali.

He said in June he would not run for a second term in presidential elections this year, despite his party’s calls for him to stand. The party has not identified another candidate yet.

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