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Tunisia presidential poll delayed a week for Muslim holiday

Tunisia's official electoral commission on Friday announced that presidential polls slated for Nov. 10 would be pushed back one week to Nov. 17, according to the Tunisian Press Agency. "Numerous political parties and civil society groups requested that the date of the poll be changed so as not to conflict with a major Muslim holiday," the news agency quoted Nabil Baffoun, head of the electoral commission, as saying.

Tunisia's presidential poll has been postponed a week to November 17 to avoid a clash with a Muslim holiday for the Prophet Mohammed's birthday, the electoral commission said Friday.

"Numerous political parties and civil society groups requested that the date of the poll be changed so as not to conflict with a major Muslim holiday," the news agency quoted Nabil Baffoun, head of the electoral commission, as saying.

Earlier this week, residents of Tunisia's southern city of Kairouan staged demonstrations to demand that the date of the polls be changed so as not to conflict with Moulid al-Nabi (the birthday of Prophet Muhammad), which this year will fall on Nov. 10.

The commission has set the new date for November 17, rather than November 10 as originally scheduled, "to ensure a good turnout", its spokeswoman Hasna Ben Slimane told AFP.

If a presidential candidate does not win outright in the first round, a second round is to follow within two weeks.

Parliamentary elections have been scheduled for October 6.

Tunisia, whose 2011 revolt toppled longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and sparked the Arab Spring uprisings, has been hailed as a model of democratisation in the Arab world but has faced economic woes and attacks by radical terrorists.

Previous polls held in 2014 brought to power Beji Caid Essebsi, the country's first democratically elected president.

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