Ghannouchi is a dominant figure in Tunisia, who critics say effectively controls the country in tandem with President Beji Caid Essebsi [File: Zoubeir Souissi/Reuters]

Rached Ghannouchi, the influential leader of Tunisia‘s Islamist Ennahda party, will stand in the next parliamentary elections in October, a move widely seen as an attempt to seek a leadership position in the country.

Exiled in London for about two decades during the time of former president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Ghannouchi has been a major force since Tunisia’s 2011 revolution, but he has never run for an official position.

The 78-year-old remains a dominant figure who critics say effectively controls the country in tandem with the secular-minded President Beji Caid Essebsi, 92, often dubbed the “two sheikhs”

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