TUNIS (Reuters) – Tunisia’s largest political celebration, reasonable Islamist Ennahda, will again former legislation professor Kais Saied in a presidential election run-off, it stated on Thursday, probably boosting his probabilities in opposition to his detained rival, Nabil Karoui.
Presidential candidate Kais Saied speaks as he attends a information convention after the announcement of the ends in the primary spherical of Tunisia’s presidential election in Tunis, Tunisia September 17, 2019. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed
Saied and media mogul Karoui received essentially the most votes in Sunday’s presidential election, beating a lot of veteran politicians.
The end result was a pointy rejection of the forces which have dominated because the 2011 revolution however failed to deal with financial issues together with excessive unemployment and inflation.
Saied took 18.four% of the votes and Karoui 15.6%. Ennahda’s Abdelfattah Mourou got here third with 12.9%.
The sphere of 26 candidates included the prime minister, two former premiers, a former president and the protection minister.
Ennahda, which was shocked by its defeat, will now throw its weight behind Saied .
“The celebration has determined to assist candidate Kais Saied as a result of he’s near the spirit of the revolution and with clear palms,” stated Mohamed Ben Salem, a senior Ennahda official.
A number of shedding conservative candidates, together with former president Moncef Marzouki, former premier Hamadi Jebali, and independents Safi Mentioned and Lotfi Mrayhi additionally backed Saied.
Not one of the defeated candidates have but endorsed Karoui.
Little-known earlier than the election, Saied is a professor of constitutional legislation who ran a modest marketing campaign with subsequent to no publicity or funding, espousing conservative social views whereas pushing for a return to the rules of the 2011 rebellion.
The second spherical of voting is predicted subsequent month after some candidates within the election appealed outcomes.
Karoui, a widely known however controversial determine, is the proprietor of a serious tv information channel and founder of a big charity that focuses on the plight of Tunisia’s poor.
He was detained weeks earlier than the election over a tax evasion and cash laundering case introduced three years in the past by an unbiased transparency watchdog.
He denies all wrongdoing and his supporters attribute his arrest to political manipulation. He was unable to participate in televised debates earlier than the vote and electoral screens have voiced concern that voters have been disadvantaged of an opportunity to listen to him marketing campaign.
A Karoui victory within the second spherical might elevate tough authorized and constitutional questions given his standing in detention in a case for which no verdict has but been delivered.
Reporting by Tarek Amara; Modifying by Catherine Evans