In the presidential election in Tunisia, a runoff is emerging. After evaluation of 52 percent of the votes cast, the independent candidate and constitutional lawyer Kais Saied with 18.7 percent at the top of the 26 candidates, said the independent election commission Isie on Monday.
Behind the law professor was the media entrepreneur Nabil Karoui with 15.5 percent. Karoui is currently in prison and Tunisian justice is accusing him of money laundering and tax evasion. The media mogul had built up a reputation as a benefactor in recent years by distributing electrical appliances or food to the poor in front of the cameras of his station Nessma TV. According to the results of the results go Karoui and Saied in the ballot for the presidency.
In third place is with 13.1 percent of the candidate of the Islamic-conservative Ennahda, Abdelfattah Mourou. The former Defense Minister Abdelkarim Zbidi (9.8 percent) and Prime Minister Youssef Chahed (7.4 percent) are currently lagging behind. Among the more than 20 candidates were only two women. The turnout was at the closure of the polling stations at 45 percent.
Weak economy damages Chahed's reputation
In light of the outcome of the ballot, Prime Minister Chahed called on the middle and liberal parties to form a bloc for the parliamentary election on 6 October. The Prime Minister's popularity had suffered in the face of the weakening economy and rising cost of living in the country. He was also accused that Karoui's arrest at the end of August was politically motivated.
Tunisia is the only country in the region that has made far-reaching democratic reforms after the Arab uprisings of 2011. However, the country is struggling with major economic problems.