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26 Jul 2019 | 08:32 AM UTC

Tunisia: State funeral for former President Essebsi July 27 /update 1

Tunisia News Alert

State funeral for former President Essebsi to be held in Tunis on July 27; heightened security presence expected

TIMEFRAME expected from 7/26/2019, 12:00 AM until 8/1/2019, 11:59 PM (Africa/Tunis). COUNTRY/REGION Tunisia

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A state funeral will be held for former President Béji Caïd Essebsi on Saturday, July 27, in Tunis. The former leader died on Thursday, July 25, after a hospitalization earlier that day. A national mourning period of seven days was declared, starting from Thursday, July 25, through Wednesday, July 31. Festivals and other events will be suspended until further notice.

In addition, the speaker of Tunisia's parliament, Mohamed Ennaceur, was sworn in as interim president on Thursday, July 25. Ennaceur will take over Essebsi's duties until a new president is elected; presidential elections initially set to take place on November 17 are now scheduled on September 15. Tunisia currently has no constitutional council to oversee a transition and to officialize the acting presidency. 

Localized disruptions, crowded conditions, and heightened security measures are likely near all funeral events. Due to the mourning period, associated government and business disruptions are expected. Associated political rallies and commemorative gatherings are also possible in the coming hours and days, particularly in Tunis.


President Essebsi was admitted to the hospital a few hours before the announcement of his death, for a third time within five weeks, following a severe illness in late June.


Individuals in Tunisia are advised to respect local customs, refrain from discussing political topics in public or on social media, anticipate government and business disruptions, heightened security measures, and transportation disruptions near funeral events, and avoid public gatherings as a precaution.


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