Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi,the North African country’s first leader elected in nationwide polls, died Thursday at the age of 92, his office said.
The veteran politician, the oldest head of state after Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, came to power in 2014, three years after the Arab Spring uprising toppled longtime despot Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and sparked revolts in several Arab nations.
He had been hospitalised with a severe illness in late June and was returned to intensive care on Thursday.
“Things are not going well,” the leader’s son Hafedh Caid Essebsi told AFP earlier on Thursday after he was readmitted.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday called Essebsi “a courageous actor on the road to democracy”.