Electoral staff put together a poll field inside a polling station throughout presidential election in Tunis, Tunisia, September 15, 2019. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed
TUNIS (Reuters) – Tunisians started casting votes in an unpredictable presidential election on Sunday the place there is no such thing as a overwhelming front-runner, with the younger democracy’s financial ills dominating the agenda.
Polling stations opened at 8am (0700 GMT) from the capital Tunis on the Mediterranean shoreline to the cork forests of the northwest, the mining cities of the inside and sand-swept Saharan villages within the south.
Tunisia threw off autocratic rule eight years in the past in a revolution that impressed “Arab Spring” revolts in Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Libya and Syria, however it alone has loved a clean, peaceable transition to democracy.
Whereas international consideration, particularly in Arab nations, is targeted on the reasonable Islamist Ennahda occasion, many Tunisians are watching the destiny of media mogul Nabil Karoui, working from behind bars on suspicion of cash laundering and tax evasion, which he denies.
A court docket on Friday dominated he should keep behind bars after his arrest final month, main his supporters to say he has been silenced.
Prime Minister Youssef Chahed, in addition to two former prime ministers, a former president and the defence minister are additionally among the many 26 candidates hoping to win outright or, if none of them win greater than 50%, to advance to a second spherical run-off.
Tunisia’s president has direct management over international and defence coverage whereas most different portfolios are dealt with by a major minister chosen by parliament.
Elections for the parliament might be held on October 6.
Reporting By Tarek Amara and Angus McDowall; Modifying by Elaine Hardcastle