Tunisia News

Tunisia: President improving to be discharged from hospital soon

Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi’s health is improving and the 92-year-old is expected to be discharged from hospital soon, according to his office.

The update on Friday came a day after the country’s first democratically elected president fell ill, prompting rumours across Tunisia about his death. Essebsi had already been briefly hospitalised last week.

“His state of health is improving,” presidential spokeswoman Saida Garrach told Tunisian public radio.

“He had a meeting with the defence minister at about 7:45am (06:45 GMT), and they exchanged information on the situation in the country,” she said.

The spokeswoman gave assurances that Essebsi, who has been in power since 2014, should be released from hospital “soon”, without providing further details.

On Thursday, the presidency said Essebsi “was taken seriously ill and transferred to the military hospital in Tunis”.

Firas Guefrech, his adviser, said initially that the president’s condition was “critical” before tweeting that he was “stable” and denying rumours that he had died.

His hospitalisation on Thursday, coupled with the deadly twin bombings that also rocked the capital, Tunis, on the same day, raised fears that the country would enter a period of uncertainty.

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