Tunisia's newly elected President Beji Caid Essebsi is sworn in after winning the country's first free presidential election. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Veteran Tunisian politician Beji Caid Essebsi was sworn in as the country's new President on Wednesday (December 31), as part of the final step of a transition to democracy after an uprising that ousted autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011. The ceremony was held just over four years after the start of the protests which eventually unseated Ben Ali. Essebsi, a former Ben Ali official, beat rival Moncef Marzouki with 55.68 percent of the vote against 44.32 percent in a run-off ballot, the country's first free presidential elections, held earlier this month. A former parliament speaker under Ben Ali, Essebsi recast himself as an experienced technocrat. His secular party Nidaa Tounes - Call for Tunisia - profited from a backlash against the post-revolt Islamist government, which many voters blamed for turmoil after 2011. Critics of Essebsi, an 88-year-old who has spent five decades in Tunisian politics, see his return as a setback for the 2011 uprising that ousted Ben Ali and put the North African country on the road to full democracy, with a new constitution and free parliamentary and presidential elections. The Tunisian uprising also inspired the Arab Spring revolts across North Africa and the Middle East.