July 24, 2019 / 10:37 PM / a month ago

Tunisia president hospitalised after health scare - president's son

FILE PHOTO: Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi attends a summit between Arab league and European Union member states, in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, February 24, 2019. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany/File Photo

TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisia’s 92-year-old president, Beji Caid Essebsi, was taken to a military hospital on Wednesday, the son of the president said, the second health crisis for the leader in a month.

The presidency was not immediately available for an official comment.

Hafedh Caid Essebsi the president’s son said that Essebsi was hospitalized on Wednesday after he suffered the effects of last month’s crisis, confirming an earlier report on local radio.

Essebsi, a major player in the country’s transition to democracy since 2011, had been hospitalised late last month and spent a week in hospital after suffering a “severe health crisis”.

But the president has only appeared twice since leaving the hospital on July 1.

Essebsi has been a prominent figure in Tunisia since the overthrow of veteran autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011, which was followed by uprisings against authoritarian leaders across the Middle East, including in nearby Libya and Egypt.

Parliamentary elections are expected to be held on Oct. 6 with a presidential vote following on Nov. 17. They will be the third set of polls in which Tunisians can vote freely following the 2011 revolution.

Reporting by Tarek Amara, editing by G Crosse

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