Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi is in critical condition after being rushed to hospital today, a close aide said on Twitter.

Essebsi, 92, was taken to a military hospital after suffering what the presidency called a “severe health crisis”.

In December 2014, Essebsi won the first free presidential election, becoming Tunisia’s first freely and directly elected president.

Essebsi, a former parliamentary speaker under Ben Ali, has been the dominant figure in the North African country since his election in 2014, despite constitutional rules limiting his powers to defence and foreign relations. But he has lost influence since prime minister Youssed Chaded took office as prime minister in 2016.


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