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Tunisia seeks new leader to boost economy and fight terror

There is no clear favourite going into the first round.

A woman pauses as she walks past candidates’ posters (Hassene Dridi/AP)
A woman pauses as she walks past candidates’ posters (Hassene Dridi/AP)

By Associated Press Reporters

Tunisians are casting ballots in their North African country’s second democratic presidential election.

They are choosing among 26 candidates for a leader who can safeguard its young democracy and tackle unemployment, corruption and economic despair.

Sunday’s vote followed a noisy but brief campaign in which all contenders vowed to boost the flagging economy and protect the country from deadly attacks by Islamist extremists.

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An electoral poster for jailed presidential candidate Nabil Karoui (Hassene Dridi/AP)

There is no clear favourite going into the first round.

The candidate who has led polls, media magnate Nabil Karoui, was jailed last month in a money-laundering probe that he claims aims to hurt his chances.

Prime Minister Youssef Chahed and moderate Islamist Abdelfattah Mourou were also getting attention.

The early election follows the death in office in July of Tunisia’s first democratically elected leader, Beji Caid Essebsi.

PA

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