FILE - In this Sept. 4, 2019 file photo, a woman walks past a wall of campaign posters in Tunis. Twenty-six candidates are running for president of Tunisia in a cacophonous election seen as key to securing the country's young democracy. The first-round presidential vote is being held Sunday Sept. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Hassene Dridi, File)

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Tunisia is holding a presidential election this weekend and among the 26 contenders are a jailed media tycoon, two prime ministers and a little-known Islamist with a big voter base.

The first-round election Sunday is seen as key to securing the North African nation's young democracy as it struggles with economic troubles and Islamic extremism.

Accusations of smear campaigns and corruption have been tossed around ahead of the election, which is being held to replace Tunisia's democratically elected leader, who died in office in July.

With so many candidates, there's no clear front-runner, although Prime Minister Youssef Chahed, jailed media magnate Nabil Karoui and Abdelfattah Mourou of the moderate Islamist party Ennahdha are getting attention.

It's only the second democratic presidential election that Tunisia has held since its "jasmine revolution" in 2011 unleashed the Arab Spring protests.

Supporters of Tunisian presidential candidate Selma Elloumi, founder of the Al Amal (Hope) party; distribute leaflets in the streets of Tunis, Thursday Sept. 12, 2019. Tunisia's 26 presidential candidates launched their campaigns last week in a political climate marked by uncertainty, money laundering allegations and worries about violent extremism. (AP Photo/Hassene Dridi)
A supporter of Tunisian presidential candidate Selma Elloumi, founder of the Al Amal (Hope) party distributes a campaign cap in the streets of Tunis, Thursday Sept. 12, 2019. Tunisia's 26 presidential candidates launched their campaigns last week in a political climate marked by uncertainty, money laundering allegations and worries about violent extremism. (AP Photo/Hassene Dridi)
A supporter of Tunisian presidential candidate Selma Elloumi, founder of the Al Amal (Hope) party, distributes leaflets in the streets of Tunis, Thursday Sept. 12, 2019. Tunisia's 26 presidential candidates launched their campaigns last week in a political climate marked by uncertainty, money laundering allegations and worries about violent extremism. (AP Photo/Hassene Dridi)
People read campaign leaflets for Tunisian presidential candidate Selma Elloumi, founder of the Al Amal (Hope) party, in a street of Tunis, Thursday Sept. 12, 2019. Tunisia's 26 presidential candidates launched their campaigns last week in a political climate marked by uncertainty, money laundering allegations and worries about violent extremism. (AP Photo/Hassene Dridi)
A supporter of Tunisian presidential candidate Selma Elloumi, founder of the Al Amal (Hope) party, distributes campaign leaflets in a street of Tunis, Thursday Sept. 12, 2019. Tunisia's 26 presidential candidates launched their campaigns last week in a political climate marked by uncertainty, money laundering allegations and worries about violent extremism. (AP Photo/Hassene Dridi)
FILE - In this Sept. 4, 2019 file photo, people walk past a campaign poster showing the jailed owner of the Tunisian private channel Nessma TV, Nabil Karoui, center up, in Tunis. Twenty-six candidates are running for president of Tunisia in a cacophonous election seen as key to securing the country's young democracy. The first-round presidential vote is being held Sunday Sept. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Hassene Dridi, File)
Supporters, left, of Tunisian presidential candidate Selma Elloumi, founder of the Al Amal (Hope) party, distribute leaflets in a street of Tunis, Thursday Sept. 12, 2019. Twenty-six candidates are running for president of Tunisia in a cacophonous election seen as key to securing the country's young democracy. The first-round presidential vote is being held Sunday Sept. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Hassene Dridi)
FILE - In this Sept. 9, 2019 file photo, Vice President of the Islamist party Ennahda and candidate for the upcoming presidential elections Abdelfattah Mourou, right, and Tunisia's Islamist Ennahda party leader Rachid Ghannouchi wave from the party headquarters in Tunis. Twenty-six candidates are running for president of Tunisia in a cacophonous election seen as key to securing the country's young democracy. The first-round presidential vote is being held Sunday Sept. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Hassene Dridi, File)
FILE - This Sept. 10, 2019 file photo, shows an electoral poster for presidential candidate Moncef Marzouki, a former human rights activist who was Tunisia's provisional leader after the Arab Spring revolution, in Tunis. Twenty-six candidates are running for president of Tunisia in a cacophonous election seen as key to securing the country's young democracy. The first-round presidential vote is being held Sunday Sept. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Hassene Dridi, File)
FILE - In this Friday Aug. 2, 2019 file photo, President of the Free Destourian Party (PDL) Abir Moussi submits her candidacy for the upcoming presidential elections in Tunis, Tunisia. Twenty-six candidates are running for president of Tunisia in a cacophonous election seen as key to securing the country's young democracy. The first-round presidential vote is being held Sunday Sept. 15, 2019. (AP Photo, File)
FILE - In this Aug. 30, 2019 file photo, Vice President of the Islamist party Ennahda and candidate for the upcoming presidential election Abdelfattah Mourou speaks during a meeting with the members of his party in Tunis, Tunisia. Twenty-six candidates are running for president of Tunisia in a cacophonous election seen as key to securing the country's young democracy. The first-round presidential vote is being held Sunday Sept. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Hassene Dridi, File)
FILE - In this Aug. 9, 2019 file photo, Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed arrives to submit his candidacy for the upcoming presidential elections in Tunis, Tunisia. Twenty-six candidates are running for president of Tunisia in a cacophonous election seen as key to securing the country's young democracy. The first-round presidential vote is being held Sunday Sept. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Hassene Dridi, File)
FILE - In this Aug. 8, 2019 file photo, LGBT activist Mounir Baatour holds a rainbow flag in Tunis, Tunisia, after submitting his candidacy for the upcoming early presidential elections. Twenty-six candidates are running for president of Tunisia in a cacophonous election seen as key to securing the country's young democracy. The first-round presidential vote is being held Sunday Sept. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Hassene Dridi, File)