Tunisia to deploy 36,000 troops to secure presidential runoff vote

The Tunisian army plans to deploy 36,000 troops to secure a presidential runoff vote slated for Sunday, a Defense Ministry spokesman has said.

“Around 28,000 soldiers will be used to secure polling stations, while 8,000 others will be deployed in rapid reaction units,” Belhasan al-Waslati said.

“The ministry has also deployed 1,800 military vehicles, 12 warplanes and four gunboats to help secure the polls,” he added.

The army, the spokesman said, is also responsible for securing the transfer of ballot boxes and documents to polling stations across the country.

Tunisia’s presidential runoff vote will be held on Sunday inside Tunisia and on December 19, 20 and 21 at voting stations overseas.

Two candidates are vying for highest office: the Nidaa Tounes party’s Beji Caid Essebsi, who clinched some 1.9 million votes (39.4 percent) in the first-round vote; and interim President Moncef Marzouki, who won roughly 1.1 million votes (33.4 percent).

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