26 candidates to contest Tunisia’s presidential election

Tunisia on map. [Photo credit: TravelsFinders.Com]
Tunisia on map. [Photo credit: TravelsFinders.Com]

Twenty-six candidates, including two women, have been cleared run in Tunisia’s early presidential elections, slated for September 15, the country’s electoral commission said on Wednesday.

The 26 were cleared out of 97 aspirants, who submitted applications to run for president, the commission said in a news conference.

Tunisia’s first democratically-elected president, Beji Essebsi, died on July 25, five months before the end of his term.

Mr Essebsi was elected in December 2014 and subsequently steered Tunisia through its democratic transition in the wake of the 2011 revolt that toppled long-time autocrat Zine Ben-Ali.

Mr Essebsi, 92, had been hospitalised late last month and spent a week in hospital after suffering a “severe health crisis”.

The late president only appeared twice since leaving the hospital on July 1, and was then again taken into a military hospital days later.

After Mr Essebsi’s death, Tunisia’s parliamentary speaker, Mohamed Ennaceur, was sworn in as the country’s interim president.

Presidential elections were pushed forward to September 15.

The North African country is widely seen as the sole democratic success story of the 2010-11 Arab Spring revolts, but has struggled with an economic slowdown and social unrest.

(dpa/NAN)

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