The President of Tunisia, Beji Caid Essebsi, who was the country’s first freely elected president in 2014, has died at age 92 says the Presidency.

Prior to his death, he was the worlds oldest sitting President.

The president was on Wednesday (July 24) admitted to the hospital, but why he was at the hospital was not known.

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

The presidency said in a statement published on their official Facebook account on Thursday.

The post read:

God is great God is great

To God he has taken and everything has been given.

He passed away this morning Thursday, 25 July 2019, at 2019 hours and 25 minutes late, with the permission of the president of the Republic, Mohamed Baji, the commander of essebsi at the military hospital in Tunisia

The burial ceremony will be announced in time

We belong to God and to him we shall return.

Profile of Tunisian president Beji Caid Essebsi

Born in 1926, President Mohamed Beji Caid Essebsi was the fifth President of Tunisia. He took power in a changed political landscape, after Tunisia witnessed the popular revolution known as the Arab Spring. The uprisings toppled then-President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.

His political career took off in 1963, when he was appointed director of national security under the tenure of President Habib Bourguiba.

In 1969 he became defense minister. A year later he was appointed Tunisia’s ambassador to France. Two years after the overthrow of President Bourguiba, he was elected a member of parliament, and subsequently served as speaker of parliament between 1990-1991 under new President Ben Ali. Essebsi returned to politics as prime minister during the brief transitional government formed after Ben Ali was ousted in the 2011 revolution.

He founded the Nidaa Tounes party, which won the country’s first parliamentary polls leading to a permanent parliament. In September 2014, Essebsi presented his candidacy for the first presidential elections since the 2011 revolution. During Essebsi’s presidency, he took controversial stance on a number of sensitive social issues, including family inheritance policy as well as legalizing marriages between Tunisian Muslim women and non-Muslim men, contrary to Islamic religion.

The president was hospitalised late last month after suffering some unspecified serious medical problems. His last public appearance was on Monday. His visibly weakened health raised concerns about his fitness for office.

He passed on in the early hours of today. Under the Constitution of Tunisia, the president of parliament will assume the presidency for forty-five to ninety days for elections to be organised.

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