In the second round of the presidential election in Tunisia, the by-election polls see a clear winner. The non-party constitutional lawyer Kais Saied comes after a survey by Emrhod Consulting to 72.5 percent of the vote. The recently arrested media entrepreneur Nabil Karoui receives 27.5 percent. This is reported by the state television station Watania. An official final result is expected within the next two days.
Thousands of supporters of Kais Saied were already celebrating loudly in the city center of Tunis in the evening, after state television announced the poll results. Also in other places of the North African country there were spontaneous motorcade and horn concerts.
"The Tunisians taught the world a lesson today," Saied told a news conference. "It is a new concept of a revolution within the constitutional framework." The state would continue to live up to its obligations and abide by all rules, Saied insisted.
"Today we are building our own opportunities: a new Tunisia, in 2010 people called out: 'We want!' And today you can do what you want, "the 61-year-old said. He was, according to polls, mainly chosen by young Tunisians and academics. He completed his election campaign without a large campaign team and without the support of his own party.
Political competitor was in custody
Tunisia had launched profound democratic reforms after the so-called Arab Spring eight years ago, but is struggling with major economic problems and high unemployment. The dissatisfaction in the population is great.
The political system in the country is now facing a profound change. Within weeks, both the president and the parliament were re-elected. In the parliamentary election last week, the previously established parties were clearly punished.
The first round of the presidential election had brought Saied and Karoui two outsiders in the runoff election on Sunday. In custody, Karoui sat until the middle of last week - on suspicion of tax evasion and money laundering.
The turnout was according to the Independent Electoral Authority (ISIE) on the participation in the past ballots. According to this, at least 58 percent of the registered voters cast their votes. However, on Sunday evening initially only the data from 70 percent of the election stations were available. Only 45 and 41 percent participated in the first round of the presidential and subsequent parliamentary elections. In total, around seven million Tunisians are registered as voters.