(Bloomberg) -- Tunisia’s election commission said Wednesday that 26 people, including the country’s first post-uprising president and two women, had been approved to run in the upcoming presidential race.

The varied line-up also includes the deputy head of the moderate Islamist Ennahda Party, Abdelfattah Mourou, former Defense Minister Abdelkarim Zbidi and ex-President Moncef Marzouki, according to Nabil Baffoun, head of Tunisia’s Independent High Authority for Elections.

Islamists Buck Regional Crackdown With Tunisia Presidential Bid

The election, which was pushed up to Sept. 15 after the death of President Beji Caid Essebsi in late July, comes at a critical time for Tunisia. The North African nation, which gave rise to the Arab Spring uprisings in 2011 that reverberated around the region, is struggling to revive its economy.

The country’s solid progress on democracy, exemplified by the smooth transition of power after Essebsi’s death, stands in stark contrast to the unrest that has gripped its neighbors. Algeria remains in limbo after the resignation of its longtime president in April, while Libya is mired in civil war about eight years after the ouster of Moammar Qaddafi.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tarek El-Tablawy in cairo at teltablawy@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Alaa Shahine at asalha@bloomberg.net, Michael Gunn

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