Tunisia seeks new leader to boost economy, fight terror

1010 WINS Newsroom
September 15, 2019 - 3:23 am

Women walk past candidates' posters and designated numbers a day before the start of presidential election in Tunis, Tunisia, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Hassene Dridi)

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Tunisians are casting ballots in their North African country's second democratic presidential election, choosing among 26 candidates for a leader who can safeguard its young democracy and tackle its 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.

There is no clear favorite 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.

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