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Tunisians Vote in Presidential Election


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Tunisians voted Sunday in a presidential election that is expected to be another landslide victory for incumbent President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.

As of late afternoon Sunday, Tunisia's official news agency reported voter turn-out had reached 84 percent.

The 73-year-old president is running against three low-profile challengers in his bid for a fifth term in office.

Mr. Ben Ali has run the North African country for more than two decades. He won the last presidential election in 2004 with more than 94 percent of the vote.

National and African Union observers are monitoring the poll.

But international rights groups say the government has ensured victory for Mr. Ben Ali by harassing the opposition.

In a television address Saturday, the president responded to critics who say the election is unbalanced and fraudulent.

He said actions will be taken against those spreading doubts or accusations about the integrity of the election without providing proof.

Tunisians were also electing members of parliament in Sunday's poll.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.