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Tunisia: 98 candidates in race to become president

A total of 98 people including Tunisia’s prime minister have submitted their documents to run for president.

The country’s electoral commission set Friday as deadline for registration of candidates.

On Friday alone, 42 people registered their candidacy for the presidential election.

Prime Minister Youssef Chahed announced on Thursday he would run for president and went ahead to submit his application.

He however refused to resign saying “Anyone who is seeking my resignation is in fact aiming to delay the elections and my resignation means the resignation of the government”.

Parliamentary elections were originally scheduled for Oct. 6 with a presidential vote following on Nov. 17.

But the elections were brought forward following the death of Beji Caid Essebsi late last month.

The electoral commission has now announced that a presidential election will take place on Sept. 15, two months earlier than scheduled. A parliamentary vote is set for Oct. 6.

Chahed, 43 is Tunisia’s youngest prime minister. He could face competition from Abdelfattah Mourou of the Islamist-inspired Ennahdha party.

Controversial media magnate Nabil Karoui is also another person to possibly give Chahed a fierce competition.

Tunisian former president Moncef Marzouki also wants to stand, as well as Defence Minister Abdelkrim Zbidi, 69.

On August 31, the electoral commission will rule on which candidates meet the criteria to stand, with campaigning due to start on September 2.


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