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Tunisia Bids Farewell to President Essebsi at State Funeral
By Staff, Agencies
Tunisia will bid farewell to its first democratically-elected president Beji Caid Essebsi on Saturday at a state funeral attended by foreign leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron.
Essebsi, who helped guide the North African country’s transition to democracy after the 2011 revolution, died aged 92 on Thursday.
The state funeral will be attended by Algerian President Abdelkader Ben Saleh, Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, along with thousands of Tunisians.
Many roads were closed and security forces deployed in most areas of the capital and near the Al Jallaz cemetery.
Hours after Essebsi’s death, parliament speaker Mohamed Ennaceur was sworn in as interim president in line with the constitution. The electoral commission announced a presidential election for Sept. 15, two months earlier than scheduled. A parliamentary vote is set for Oct. 6.
Essebsi rose to prominence after the overthrow of veteran autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali.
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