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Tunisia sets presidential election for September 15

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Tunisia’s presidential election will be held on September 15, the North African country’s electoral body has announced, rejecting calls to postpone the vote after the death of ailing leader Beji Caid Essebsi.

Nabil Baffoun, the electoral body’s chief, told a news conference late on Tuesday that potential nominees must submit their candidacy between August 2 and 9.

The campaigning period will be from September 2 to 13, and the results of the vote will be announced two days after the polls, he said.

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If no candidate wins more than 50 percent of the votes, a second round will be held no later than November 3, he added.

The presidential race was originally scheduled for November but the vote was brought forward following Essebsi’s death on July 25.

The new polling date was announced just hours after the electoral commission met the representatives of political parties and civil society, some of whom demanded it postpone the first round of elections to run with parliamentary polls set for October 6.

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On Wednesday, the Tahaya Tounes party said it would nominate Youssef Chahed, the country’s prime minister, as its presidential candidate.

The party, which split off from Essebsi’s party this year, is now the biggest liberal group in Tunisia’s parliament.— Al Jazeera

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