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Tunisia's presidential hopefuls

A short guide to some of the main candidates campaigning to be elected as Tunisian president on 23 November
Kalthoum Kannou is a magistrate and the only female presidential candidate (AFP)

Twenty-seven candidates are standing for president in Tunisia on 23 November, including the outgoing head of state, a football club chief, former ministers and a magistrate as the only female presidential candidate. 

Moncef Marzouki

Moncef Marzouki (AFP)
Tunisia's interim president. Marzouki was installed in December 2011, a few months after Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali was ousted.
 
A veteran dissident allied with the Islamist Ennahda party, he is widely respected for his opposition to former president Ben Ali and is seen as having prevented the country being split between secular and Islamist camps.
 
A doctor and human rights campaigner, Mr Marzouki was jailed in 1994 after challenging Mr Ben Ali in a presidential election. He only returned home after Mr Ben Ali was toppled.
 

Beji Caid Essebsi

Beji Caid el Sebsi (AFP)
Secular leader of the main anti-Islamist party Nidaa Tounes which won the 26 October general election. At 87, Essebi is the oldest presidential candidate.
 
He was a minister under Habib Bourguiba, the father of Tunisian independence, and briefly headed parliament under Ben Ali.
 
Despite his advanced age, Essebsi remains the favourite to become president.
 
If Essebsi supporters see him as the only way to block the Islamist rise, his opponents accuse him of being a product of the old regime who seeks to restore it.
 

Slim Riahi

Slim Riahi (AFP)
An entrepreneur and a millionaire, Riahi leads the Free Patriotic Union (UPL), which promotes a economically liberal and modernist program and positions itself at the centre of the political spectrum. UPL came third in the parliamentary election.
 
Riahi also owns Club Africain, one of the two major football teams in Tunis.
 
Engaged in oil production, energy, aviation and property development industries, acquired Riahi great wealth, worth billions. He is believed to have had links with the family of deposed Libyan dictator Moamer Gaddafi.
 

Hamma Hammami

Hamma Hammami (AFP)
A leftist figurehead and virulent Ben Ali critic who chose to stay in Tunisia rather than go into exile. Hammami was jailed and tortured under the former regime, and his lawyer wife Radhia Nasraoui is a prominent anti-torture activist.
 
His Popular Front party came fourth in last month's election.
 

Kalthoum Kannou

Kalthoum Kannou (AFP)
A magistrate and the only woman presidential candidate, Kannou is a champion of judicial independence. She was also an opponent of Ben Ali's regime which tried to silence her by placing her on a blacklist. After Ben Ali fled in January 2011, she briefly headed the Association of Tunisian Judges.
 
Kannou, 55, said in an interview with Anadolu Agency that her entry into the presidential race – which requires at least 19,000 signatures by male and female Tunisian citizens – was "proof that Tunisian society is progressive enough to accept the idea that a woman can be president."
 

Kamel Morjane

Kamel Morjane (AFP)
Ben Ali's last foreign minister and one of six ousted regime officials standing as a candidate. After the revolution, he apologised for serving under Ben Ali and founded his own party, Al-Moubadara (the Initiative), which claims to follow the Bourguiba line. Al-Moubadara won three parliamentary seats on 26 October.