Essebsi, Beji Caid

Essebsi, Beji Caid bä´zhē cä´ĭd əsĕb´sē [key], 1926– Tunisian political leader. A lawyer, he held several posts in the governments of Presidents Bourguiba and Ben Ali , including interior minister (1965–69), defense minister (1969–70), foreign minister (1981–86), and president of the chamber of deputies (1990–91). He also was ambassador to France (1970–71) and to West Germany (1987). Following the ouster of President Ben Ali in the country's Arab Spring uprising (2011), Essebsi served as interim prime minister (Feb.–Dec., 2011). In 2012 he founded (2012) the secular Nidaa Tounes [Call of Tunisia] party, and in 2014 he was elected president of Tunisia after a runoff vote in the country's first free presidential election.

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