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President of Tunisia Dies at 92

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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.

He was admitted to hospital last month after suffering what officials said was a severe health crisis.

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

According to the country’s constitution, Mr Chahed can take over as president for no more than 60 days or until a replacement is elected.

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

He told a meeting of his ruling Nidaa Tounes party that someone younger should take charge. He said it was time to “open the door to the youth”.

– BBC

PALIBE NDEMANGA

ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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