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Tunisia’s Essebsi says he won’t run for second term

Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi gives a press conference in Tunis, Tunisia on November 8, 2018 [Fethi Belaid/AFP/Getty Images]
Late Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi in Tunis, Tunisia on 8 November 2018 [Fethi Belaid/AFP/Getty Images]

Tunisia’s President Beji Caid Essebsi yesterday announced that he would not run again in the country’s upcoming presidential election due on 17 November.

In an interview with the UK-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi, Essebsi explained that he was not convinced that seeking another term would be “in the country’s [Tunisia] interest”.

“I would go in any path that serves Tunisia’s interests, and I am not yet convinced that my candidacy for the presidency again would help Tunisia,” he said.

On the Nidaa Tounes party’s recent announcement that it would nominate Essebsi for a second term, the Tunisia president noted that it was “true”, but added that he would “wait for the deadlines for the submission of the candidacy and decide what to do.”

“It is true that the constitution gives me the right to do so, but I do not necessarily have to use it,” he pointed out.

“Tunisia’s democratic experience is still fragile as long as we have not yet achieved progress in the economic field,” Essebsi added.

READ: UN chief calls on international community to support Tunisia

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