31 December 2014
Last updated at 06:36
Mr Essebsi has urged all Tunisians to ‘work together’ for stability
Tunisian President-elect Beji Caid Essebsi is to take his oath of office after winning the country’s first free presidential poll.
He secured victory last week over incumbent Moncef Marzouki.
His triumph means Tunisia – where the Arab Spring began – remains the only Arab country to move from authoritarian rule to democracy in that period.
On Monday, electoral authorities confirmed that Mr Essebsi had won a run-off vote against Mr Marzouki.
The new president will be sworn in at a ceremony in the newly elected parliament – where his party Nidaa Tounes also holds the largest number of seats.
The swearing in takes place on the anniversary four years ago of protests that eventually toppled President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011.
Supporters of Mr Essebsi’s secular-leaning Nidaa Tounes party have been celebrating his win
The BBC’s Naveena Kottoor in Tunis says that while this is the latest democratic milestone for Tunisia, many in the country are arguing that political transition will only succeed if newly-elected politicians usher in social and economic changes.
Mr Essebsi, 88, has urged all Tunisians to “work together” for stability but critics say his win marks the return of a discredited establishment, pointing out that he served under President Ben Ali.
This month’s vote was the first time Tunisians have been able to vote freely for their president since independence from France in 1956.
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Tunisia presidential elections
voted for Beji Caid Essebsi
voted for Moncef Marzouki
Votes cast: 3,110,048
Beji Caid Essebsi
- 88-year-old lawyer and politician
- Studied law in Paris
- Interior minister under Habib Bourguiba, Tunisia’s first president after independence
- Speaker of parliament under ousted President Zine el-Abedine Ben Ali
- Interim prime minister in 2011 after the uprising
- Founder of secular-leaning Nidaa Tounes party in 2014
- Supported by Tunisian General Labour Union and some business groups
The new president will have restricted powers under a constitution passed earlier this year.
He will be commander-in-chief of the armed forces but can appoint or sack senior officers only in consultation with the prime minister.