Tunisia presidential vote nears climax

Supporters of Tunisian presidential candidate for the anti-Islamist Nidaa Tounes party, Beji Caid Essebsi attend his last meeting on December 19, 2014Four years after its revolution sparked the Arab Spring, Tunisia’s presidential campaign neared its climax Friday with incumbent Moncef Marzouki facing 88-year-old favourite Beji Caid Essebsi in a runoff. Essebsi held a last rally on Bourguiba Avenue in Tunis, a focal point of the 2011 revolution that toppled president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, while Marzouki spoke to supporters just outside the capital. The November 23 first round saw Essebsi, who heads the anti-Islamist Nidaa Tounes party, take 39 percent of the vote. Nidaa Tounes won an October parliamentary election and Essebsi has emerged as the clear favourite to be the next president.

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