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Tunisian Prime Minister submits bid to run for president


Tunisia’s liberal prime minister, Youssef Chahed, will run for president in an early election expected on Sept. 15, he told a crowd of supporters on Thursday (August 8).

Chahed, who will run as a candidate for the liberal Tahya Tounes Party, is one of the likely frontrunners to succeed Beji Caid Essebsi, who died last month.

Slim Azzabi, secretary-general of Chahed’s Tahya Tounes party, said on July 31 that the party would nominate Chahed as its presidential candidate.

They said Youssef Chahed has a deal with Ennahda to stay as prime minister and not run for president. Well, here I am going past prime minister and running for president

Tunisia’s president mainly has authority over foreign and defense policy, governing alongside a prime minister chosen by parliament who has authority over domestic affairs.

Tunisia was the birthplace of the “Arab Spring” protests that swept the Middle East and North Africa in 2011, and the only country where those revolts were followed by a peaceful transition to democracy. Nevertheless it remains mired in a severe economic crisis that has fueled social discontent.

A presidential election due in November this year will now be held two months early following the death of Essebsi, 92, a secularist who helped guide the transition to democracy after a 2011 revolution.


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