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Tunisia President Appears in Media amid Speculation over His Health

Tunisia President Appears in Media amid Speculation over His Health

Tuesday, 23 July, 2019 - 10:15
Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi. (AFP)
Tunis - Asharq Al-Awsat
President Beji Caid Essebsi appeared in the media for the first time in more than two week in a video released by the Tunisian presidency showing him during a regular meeting with Minister of Defense Abdelkarim Zbidi.

Essebsi, 92, was filmed at his office at the presidential palace and looked haggard. He did not make any statement.

“It was an honor to meet with the President of the Republic as he resumes his duties,” Zbidi stated.

“It was an opportunity to review the security situation on the Tunisian border and to present all the activities we have carried out as part of the National Army Day celebrations,” he added.

Zbidi affirmed that the security situation is stable and under control, noting the close coordination between the military and internal security forces.

Essebsi last made an appearance on July 5, when he addressed Tunisians on the occasion of signing the decree to call voters to legislative and presidential elections.

Prior to that he had spent a week in hospital due to a “severe” health crisis, according to a statement by the presidency at the time.

Before his illness, Essebsi used to regularly receive guests at the presidential palace.

His appearance on Monday coincided with the revival of debate over his health.

Essebsi has vowed to complete his presidential term, which ends in December.

Meanwhile, the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) began receiving on Monday nominations of candidates wishing to to run in the legislative elections.

The elections are scheduled for October 6 and presidential elections for November 17, the third since the country’s political transition began in 2011.

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