Political outsiders head to Tunisia’s elections runoff

Said Kaisi on the right and Nabil Karoui on the left. [Photo: Internet]
Tunisia’s elections advanced to a runoff on Tuesday between a jailed media mogul and a socially conservative academic, according to final results from the electoral commission.

Both have branded themselves political outsiders in a contest that included 26 candidates.

Law professor Kais Saied received 18.4% percent of the vote.

Saied has promised to overhaul the constitution and to decentralize power “so that the will of the people penetrates into central government and puts an end to corruption.”

His rival is the media mogul Nabil Karoui, who received 15.6% of the votes.

Karoui has been in jail since August 23 on suspicion of money laundering — but has received permission to let his wife and leaders of his Heart of Tunisia party campaign in his stead.

Karoui has been compared to Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi, largely because he owns his own TV channel, which he has used to publicize his presidential bid.

He has also been criticized for exploiting some of the country’s poorest citizens in his high-profile charity campaigns.

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