Mr Essebsi’s son said on Wednesday the President had been taken to a military hospital – the second health crisis for the leader in a month. The Tunisian President had been taken to hospital last month and spent a week there after suffering a “severe health crisis. But he has only been seen in public twice since leaving there on July 1, sparking fears over his health.

Since he was hospitalised last month, politicians had called for greater transparency over his health as fears grew over the stability of Tunisia.

Mr Essebi is regarded as a major player in Tunisia since the overthrow of veteran autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali and transition to democracy since 2011.

This was followed by uprisings against authoritarian leaders across the Middle East, including in nearby Libya and Egypt.

Presidential elections are due to take place on November 17, with Parliamentary elections taking place on October 6.

In April, Mr Essebsi said he wouldn’t be standing for re-election in the polls in order to make way for someone younger.

Parliamentary elections are expected to be held six weeks earlier.

They will be the third set of polls in which Tunisians can vote freely following the 2011 revolution.

This is a breaking story. More to follow.



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