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New Tunisian President Essebsi pledges reconciliation

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New Tunisian President Essebsi pledges reconciliation
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The new Tunisian President has pledged reconciliation as he was sworn in before the House of People’s Representatives on Wednesday.

Eighty eight-year-old Beji Caid Essebsi is a veteran politician who previously worked under the regime of Ben Ali, the dictator overthrown during the 2011 Arab Spring uprising.

It’s the country’s first free presidential election and is seen as the final step of a transition to democracy. However critics of Essebsi see his return as a setback for the 2011 uprising.

The campaign between Essebsi and the outgoing president Moncef Marzouki was bitter although Marzouki accepted his defeat.

The transitional government run by Islamist party Ennahdha had proved unpopular and Essebsi’s secular party Nidaa Tounes – Call for Tunisia – profited from the backlash against it.

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