Essebsi, Beji Caid

Essebsi, Beji Caid

(bä`zhē cä`ĭd əsĕb`sē), 1926–2019, Tunisian political leader. A lawyer and ally of President BourguibaBourguiba, Habib
, 1903–2000, Tunisian statesman, president of Tunisia (1957–87), b. Monastir. Early active in the Destour party, he was at first an advocate of close cooperation with France.
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, he held several posts in his and President and Ben AliBen Ali, Zine el-Abidine
, 1936–2019, president of Tunisia (1987–2011). Educated in France and the United States, he entered the army and became ambassador to Poland (1980–94), minister of national security (1984–86), and interior minister (1986–87).
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's government, including interior minister (1965–69), defense minister (1969–70), foreign minister (1981–86), and president of the chamber of deputies (1990–91). He also was ambassador to France (1970–71) and to West Germany (1987). Following the ouster of President Ben Ali in the country's Arab SpringArab Spring,
in modern North African and Middle Eastern history, antigovernment demonstrations and uprisings that, from late 2010, swept many of the regions' Arab nations.
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 uprising (2011), Essebsi came out of retirement to serve as interim prime minister (Feb.–Dec., 2011), helping to guide Tunisia toward democratic government. In 2012 he founded (2012) the secular Nidaa Tounes [Call of Tunisia] party, and in 2014 he was elected president of Tunisia after a runoff vote in the country's first free presidential election. He died in office.
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