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Tunisia set to vote in first free presidential elections

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Tunisia set to vote in first free presidential elections


Tunisia is heading to the polls to vote on Sunday for a new president, just one month after electing its parliament.

The country which kick started the Arab Spring is completing its transition to democracy four years on from the revolution with its first free presidential elections.

More than 5 million voters will choose between 27 candidates, Beji Caid Essebsi is pegged as the frontrunner.

The 88-year-old has promised to restore stability in the country which has suffered from economic stagnation and a rise of Islamist terrorism.

He cuts a reassuring figure to Tunisians weary of the two-year rule of the Islamist Ennahda party.

His opponents have emphasised his links to deposed former leader Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali. His main opposition comes from Moncef Marzouki, an academic and human rights activist who has served as president since 2011.

Marzouki is counting on the support of Ennahda’s voters. The party didn’t put forward a candidate, so their backing could prove key.

If no candidate wins a clear majority it will go to a second round to be held on December 28.

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