Tunisia held on Saturday a state funeral amid tight security presence with the attendance of several foreign and Arab leaders and top officials for Tunisia’s first freely and democratically elected President Beji Caid Essebsi who died last Thursday aged 92.
Tunisia declared seven national mourning days.
Among those who attend the funeral was French President Emmanuel Macron, Algeria’s interim President Abdelkader Bensalah, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Felipe VI of Spain, and the Secretary-General of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul Gheit.
Essebsi came to office in December 2014 after winning the country’s first free presidential poll since the sweeping uprising which toppled the long-time autocrat Zine Al-Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011 after 23 years in office.
He announced in April that he would not run in the elections that were scheduled in November this year, saying that it is time for younger people to step up.
After his death, the presidential polls are expected to be held in mid-September. The speaker of Tunisia’s parliament, Mohamed Ennaceur, was sworn in as interim president on Thursday.