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Tunisia Kicks Off Presidential Campaign Amid Tensions

Women walk past a wall of campaign posters in Tunis, Tunisia, Sept. 2, 2019.

Tunisia's 26 presidential candidates have launched their campaigns in a political climate marked by uncertainty, money laundering allegations and worries about violent extremism.

There is no clear front-runner as campaigning began Monday for the Sept. 15 first-round vote to replace Tunisia's first democratically elected president, who died in office in July.

Candidates held rallies Monday in Tunis and in poorer provinces to present their platforms.

One prominent candidate is in jail facing accusations of money laundering and tax evasion.

Tunisia's provisional leader after its 2011 Arab Spring uprising, former activist Moncef Marzouki, is also running. He lamented to The Associated Press that candidates are "fighting each other with methods unworthy of democracy."

The campaign kickoff came the same day that four people were killed in clashes near the Algerian border.