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Tunisians vote for new leader in presidential election

Tunisians have been voting in a presidential election on Sunday as they choose a new leader following the death of Beji Caid Essebsi.

This is the second time Tunisia is holding a free presidential election since 2011 when an uprising toppled ex-president Ben Ali.

There are no overwhelming front-runners in this election though. Polling stations opened at 07:00 GMT at most polling centres.

There are 26 candidates vying for the presidency including Prime Minister Youssef Chahed and two former prime ministers.

There is also a former president and the defence minister running for the top job. They are all hoping to win outright.

A candidate needs a majority of votes to win the election. If none of them wins more than 50% then there would be a second round run-off.

The two candidates with most votes will face a second, decisive round in the event of a second round.

Former President Essebsi won Tunisia’s first free presidential elections in 2014.  He died at 92 this year – at the time the oldest sitting president in the world.

Parliament speaker Mohamed Ennaceur is currently acting as interim president.

Meanwhile parliamentary elections will take place on October 6.


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