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Tunisians Begin Election Process


Tunisians walk past election posters in Tunis, Oct. 1, 2011.

Tunisians walk past election posters in Tunis, Oct. 1, 2011.

Tunisia has opened campaigning for its first elections since the uprising that led to former president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali's resignation.

The campaign to elect representatives to a constitutional assembly that will draft the country's new constitution began on Saturday.

More than 80 political parties are vying for representation in the assembly during voting set for October 23.

Ben Ali abruptly stepped down in January and fled to Saudi Arabia following a month-long uprising that inspired similar protests across the region.

In July, Tunisia convicted him, in absentia, on charges of corruption and abuse of power. He has previous convictions that include embezzlement and smuggling.

Since his departure, Tunisians have continued to lobby for government reforms.

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