Tunisians vote for a new presidenthttps://indianexpress.com/article/world/middle-east-africa/tunisians-vote-for-a-new-president/

Tunisians vote for a new president

Sunday's vote marks the long awaited completion of a rocky transition to democracy.

An electoral volunteer, right, distributes leaflets, Friday, Oct. 24, 2014, to encourage the public to vote on the iconic Bourguiba Avenue which witnessed the culmination of Tunisia’s revolution against dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 2011, in Tunis, Tunisia. Tunisians will flock to the polls on Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014, to elect representatives for a four year parliament in one of the final steps for the country's transition to democracy after overthrowing its leader more than three years ago. (Source: AP)
An electoral volunteer, right, distributes leaflets, Friday, Oct. 24, 2014, to encourage the public to vote on the iconic Bourguiba Avenue which witnessed the culmination of Tunisia’s revolution against dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 2011, in Tunis, Tunisia. Tunisians will flock to the polls on Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014, to elect representatives for a four year parliament in one of the final steps for the country’s transition to democracy after overthrowing its leader more than three years ago. (Source: AP)

Tunisians have lined up at polling stations to vote in their North African country’s first free and open presidential election.

Sunday’s vote marks the long awaited completion of a rocky transition to democracy after Tunisians electrified the region by overthrowing dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 2011, kicking off the Arab Spring pro-democracy uprisings.

The front runner among the nearly two dozen presidential candidates is 87-year-old Beji Caid Essebsi, a veteran politician from the previous regime who has gained people support with talk of a return to stability after years of economic and political turmoil.

If no candidate gains an outright majority, the vote will go to a run off held in one month.

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Alone among the countries of the Arab Spring, Tunisia’s transition has remained on track.