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After a year when there was just a single candidate, the incumbent, standing for the post, 2012 will see three developers slug it out for the post of leader of the Debian GNU/Linux Project.

Debian is the only free software project which holds an election to select its leader each year; the project produces what is arguably the best GNU/Linux distribution and one that caters to the most platforms.

Incumbent leader Stefano Zacchiroli has thrown his hat into the ring for a third time, mainly, he says, to complete the tasks that he outlined in his first run for the job.

The other candidates are Wouter Verhelst and Gergely Nagy.

Verhelst has been a developer since 2011 and says that he wants to run in order to bring about change; in his platform statement he says that Zacchiroli has treated the office of leader merely as an administrative job.

In his platform statement, Verhelst makes reference to the changes that Anthony Towns introduced in 2006-07 when he used some of the funds from the project to pay select developers in order to speed up a release.

This caused quite a bit of controversy in the project ranks and as a result the number of candidates rose to eight in 2007. Verhelst was one of them and he says his vision hasn't changed since then - "I still think we need to make sure Debian is and remains a welcoming place to work on free software."

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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