Tunisia prime minister announces presidential bid


Tunisia’s liberal prime minister, Youssef Chahed has revealed plans to run for president in an early election scheduled for September 15, following the death of President Beji Caid Essebsi last week.

This was revealed by Slim Azzabi, secretary-general of the Tahya Tounes party.

The party, which split off from Essebsi’s party this year, is now the biggest liberal group in Tunisia’s parliament. It governs in coalition with the moderate Islamist Ennahda Party and a smaller liberal group.

Other candidates who have announced their intention to stand include liberal former Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa, and Moncef Marzouki, who served as interim president for three years after autocrat Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was toppled.

A presidential election due in November this year will now be held two months early following the death of Essebsi.

Essebsi, 92, was buried at a state funeral on Saturday. The speaker of parliament has been sworn in as interim president to lead the country to a new election.

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