Newly elected Tunisian president takes office

Tunis, Dec 31 (IANS) Newly elected Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi took the constitutional oath of office Wednesday during an exceptional plenary session at parliament.

The ceremony was held in the presence of Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa, Tunisian ministers, leaders of political parties, prominent national civil society figures and international diplomats, Xinhua reported.
Essebsi has resigned from his political party Nidaa Tounes after winning the runoff of the presidential elections Dec 21. He will take office at the Presidential Palace of Carthage later Wednesday.
Essebsi is known as “student of the first president Habib Bourguiba”. Essebsi was a minister under Bourguiba and head of parliament under the second president Zine al Abidine Ben Ali.
Following the popular uprisings of December 2010 and January 2011, he served as interim prime minister before the elections of October 2011.
Essebsi is Tunisia’s fifth president, also the first freely elected head of state in the nation’s history.