- The first official preliminary results are expected Tuesday. A runoff must be held by October 23.
- 61-year-old Kais Saied, is a conservative law professor and an expert on constitutional issues.
- Nabil Karoui, is a well-known media mogul, currently behind bars for alleged tax evasion and money laundering allegations.
Kais Saied, a conservative law professor, and the detained media mogul, Nabil Karoui, will most likely square it out in an apparent second round of the Tunisian presidential election, according to the elections early results. “My win brings a big responsibility to change frustration to hope,” Saied said at a local radio station on Sunday. “It is a new step in Tunisian history . . . it is like a new revolution.”
The first official preliminary results are expected tomorrow, Tuesday. According to results that are so far public, Saied and Karoui are the top candidates, and they are likely to compete for the nation’s presidency in the second and final round of the presidential election.
The first, 61-year-old Kais Saied, is a conservative law professor and an expert on constitutional issues. Political analysts see him as an interesting candidate because he is not seen by many as a politician. In recent years, Kais Saied has on many occasions been appearing on TV and radio to comment on constitutional issues. Owing to the fact that he has managed to get so many votes without some kind of political machinery behind him is what analysts are finding very interesting.
One Candidate is Imprisoned
The other candidate, who remained a favorite in many opinion polls that were conducted in the country before the election, Mr. Nabil Karoui, is a well-known media mogul, who owns his own TV channel. He is currently behind bars for alleged tax evasion and money laundering allegations that his supporters and himself maintain are politically engineered. Analysts describe Nabil Karoui as a candidate who has run his own race. His campaign message was that the establishment, the elite, and the state have failed, and that he is the one who is well-positioned to change the country for better. A wealthy philanthropist, Nabil Karoui is known for his generosity, and he is on record having helped very many poor Tunisians across the country. He has always been the common man’s choice.
The polling stations closed punctually, but only slightly more than 45 percent of voters participated in the election. That is compared to the 64 percent who voted in 2014, according to the Tunisian Election Commission statistics.
The Two “Non-Politicians”
The leading contenders are seen by many as being non-politicians. Their good performance in the elections probably explains that Tunisians are fed up with the nation’s well-established political parties and career politicians. High rates of unemployment and corruption has led Tunisians to believe that the political establishment has failed the country. Hence the need to entrust a non-politician in the highest office of the land.
A Second Round is Expected
If, as expected, no candidate gets over half the votes cast, there will be a second and decisive round in the presidential race. The top two candidates will participate, and the winner will be declared the country’s president. The date for the possible runoff is not yet set. Per the dictates of the constitution, it must be held by October 23.