Judge and presidential candidate Kalthoum Kannou (L) shakes hands with a resident as she campaigns in Beja November 17, 2014. (REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi)
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Campaign posters and banners for next week's presidential elections have covered the walls of Tunisia's cities and towns, papering over the flaking posters from the parliamentary elections just three weeks ago.The favorite to win is Beji Caid Essebsi, an 87-year-old veteran politician who served under Ben Ali and his predecessor Habib Bourguiba, and whose party won the most seats in parliament – 39 percent – in the October elections.Essebsi's main competitor in parliamentary elections was the moderate Islamist Ennahda Party, which ruled during much of a nation's stormy transition but finished second in the parliamentary vote. The party chose not to field or endorse a presidential candidate.Candidates are uniformly promising to address the 15 percent unemployment – more than twice that for young people – and securing the country from attacks by extremists.Kalthoum Kennou, a judge and former head of the country's judges' association, is the first woman to run for president in Tunisia.
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