Tunisian leader appears after hospital, signing key decrees


In this photo provided by the Tunisian presidency, Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi signs a decree in Tunis, Friday, July 5, 2019. Tunisia’s first democratically elected president, 92-year-old Beji Caid Essebsi made his first official appearance Friday since being taken to a military hospital after falling seriously ill last month. (Slim Abid/Tunisian Presidency via AP)

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TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Tunisia’s 92-year-old president Beji Caid Essebsi has made his first public appearance since leaving hospital following a serious illness.

Video from the president’s office showed Essebsi signing a decree Friday authorizing elections in October and November and making a brief address, four days after being discharged from a military hospital.

In a statement later, his office said the president also prolonged the North African nation’s ongoing state of emergency for one more month.

Essebsi won office in 2014, in the wake of the country’s 2011 uprising that toppled autocratic leader Zine el Abidine Ben Ali.

He recently announced he wouldn’t run in the November election, saying a younger person should lead the country.

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