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Tunisians vote for new president in run-off poll

Tunisians started voting on Sunday for a new president in a second and final round of the country’s presidential election.

Voters are choosing between a media mogul and a retired law professor to help sustain the country’s democracy.

Law professor Kais Saied and detained media mogul Nabil Karoui emerged as outsiders in the first round of voting to head into the presidential run-off vote.

Nabil Karoui, was only released from detention on Wednesday after spending most of the election campaign behind bars.

He has been accused of corruption and is still awaiting a verdict in his trial. But he denies all accusations of wrongdoing.

Kais Saied had more votes in the first round and spent very little money on his campaign.

He had 18.4% of votes compared to Karoui who secured 15.6% in the first round.

Kais Saied is regarded by his supporters as a humble man of principle and has the backing of Tunisia’s moderate Islamist party Ennahda.

Tunisian presidential elections
Kais Saied (L) and Nabil Karoui (R) in a hand shake after a TV debate. Photo: Reuters

These are the two candidates out of the 26 that contested September’s first round of votes who emerged top.

Last week Tunisians voted in legislative elections weeks and are now expected to settle on a President in this election.

Registered voters are about 7.2 million. Tunisia is the birthplace of the 2011 Arab Spring revolts.

The country is currently struggling to deal with a worsening economic crisis compounded by social unrest.


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