Tunisia's President Zine al Abidine Ben Ali said on Wednesday he would run for re-election next year in a move that would extend his two-decade-long stay in power until 2014.
"I tell you with all pride: I'm always faithful to my commitment and answer you with all honour -- I will be your candidate for the 2009 presidential elections," Ben Ali, 71, told the annual congress of the country's ruling Constitutional Democratic Rally (RCD) party.
His comments marked the first time he has directly addressed calls made by his supporters over the past 18 months that he should stand for re-election.
Ben Ali gained power in the north African country of 10 million in 1987 when doctors declared the then president Habib Bourguiba senile and unfit to rule.
A referendum in 2002 revised the constitution to allow the president an unlimited number of successive five-year terms. Ben Ali won 94.4 percent of vote in the last election in 2004.
Last Mod: 30 Temmuz 2008, 20:43