Tunisia: Conservative law professor wins presidential race

International

Journalists and observers attend as the Independent High Electoral Commission announces the results of the presidential election in Tunisia, Monday, Oct. 14, 2019. Tunisia’s electoral body said official preliminary results show that conservative, Islamist-backed law professor Kais Saied has largely won the presidential election. (AP Photo/Mosa’ab Elshamy)

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Tunisia’s election commission said a preliminary count shows Islamist-backed law professor Kais Saied has won the country’s presidential election by a significant margin.

The commission reported Monday that Saied, who hasn’t held elected office before, received 72.71% of the vote. His opponent, media mogul Nabil Karoui, got 27.29%.

The results confirm exit polls from Sunday’s election.

Nabil Bafoun, head of the electoral commission, said “by looking at the result … and knowing that it represents an absolute majority for this second round of the presidential elections, we, the Tunisian electoral commission, declare Mister Kais Saied winner of the presidential elections.”

The commission said that Saied got a majority of the votes in each of the 33 electoral districts. He exceeded 90% in six traditionally very conservative southern districts.

The 61-year-old Saied is an independent outsider but has support from moderate Islamist party Ennahdha, which won Tunisia’s parliamentary election last week.

He has promised to overhaul the country’s governing structure to give more power to young people and local governments.

Karoui, 56, told supporters Sunday the race wasn’t over because his legal team would explore options. He was arrested Aug. 23 in a corruption investigation and released with only two days left to campaign.

French President Emmanuel Macron congratulated Saied for his election in a phone call Monday and wished him “success for Tunisia.”

Macron stressed the Tunisian people’s “democratic mobilization” over the past several weeks. He told Saied that he intends to pursue and enhance the partnership between the two countries.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi congratulated the Tunisian people and the elected president in a written statement.

If no legal action is taken to challenge the results, the electoral body is set to announce the definitive vote count on Thursday. Tunisia’s parliament will then hold an extraordinary session during which the newly elected president will be sworn in and will formally start his five-year term.

The presidential vote was held early following the July death in office of President Beji Caid Essebsi.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Clear

Abbeville

76°F Clear Feels like 77°
Wind
3 mph WNW
Humidity
25%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Mainly clear. Low 47F. Winds light and variable.
49°F Mainly clear. Low 47F. Winds light and variable.
Wind
2 mph NNW
Precip
20%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waning Gibbous
Clear

Crowley

76°F Clear Feels like 76°
Wind
3 mph W
Humidity
33%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Partly cloudy. Low 47F. Winds light and variable.
49°F Partly cloudy. Low 47F. Winds light and variable.
Wind
2 mph NNW
Precip
20%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waning Gibbous
Clear

Opelousas

76°F Clear Feels like 76°
Wind
3 mph SW
Humidity
36%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Mostly clear. Low 46F. Winds light and variable.
49°F Mostly clear. Low 46F. Winds light and variable.
Wind
2 mph NNW
Precip
20%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waning Gibbous
Clear

Breaux Bridge

77°F Clear Feels like 78°
Wind
10 mph NNW
Humidity
28%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Mainly clear. Low 47F. Winds light and variable.
49°F Mainly clear. Low 47F. Winds light and variable.
Wind
2 mph NNW
Precip
20%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waning Gibbous
Clear

New Iberia

77°F Clear Feels like 78°
Wind
7 mph NNW
Humidity
33%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

A few clouds from time to time. Low 47F. Winds light and variable.
48°F A few clouds from time to time. Low 47F. Winds light and variable.
Wind
3 mph WNW
Precip
0%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waning Gibbous

Sidebar

Trending Stories