Tunisia’s electoral commission has approved 27 candidates ahead of November’s presidential election.

The candidates include the secular politician Beji Caid Essbsi, who was a former foreign affairs minister under strongman Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali.

Another approved candidate is Tunisia’s current interim president, Moncef Marzouki, a French-trained doctor and human rights activist.

Marzouki announced his plan to stand on 20 September.

The November election is due to be Tunisia’s first constitutionally backed presidential poll since the 2011 uprising.

It will be preceded by parliamentary elections in October.

Earlier this month, the country’s interim Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa announced he would not be standing in the presidential elections, despite being named as a possible consensus candidate by Rachid Ghannouchi, the leader of the moderate Islamist party Ennahda.