• Tunisia, Karoui presidential candidate released from prison
  • The former president of Tunisia Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali died in Saudi Arabia
  • Tunisia presidential elections, first results: Said ahead of Karoui
  • Presidential elections in Tunisia, sharp decline in turnout


October 13, 2019Tunisia back to the vote. Today the voters of the Jasmine Revolutionary Country are called to the polls for the ballot of the presidential elections. The first round was marked by the defeat of the parties and the vote comes one week after last Sunday's legislation, which produced a broken Parliament. The first round of the presidential elections rewarded the outsiders: the tycoon Nabil Karoui is running for the presidency, released on Wednesday after weeks in jail on charges of money laundering and tax evasion, and jurist Kais Saied, a newcomer to politics .

The expected television duel - two days ago - was for many more boring than exciting. Saied enjoys the support of moderate Islamic-inspired party Ennahda, which won the majority of votes in the legislative elections - according to the provisional results. Saied, nicknamed 'Robocop' for his way of speaking, is accused by detractors of being an "Islamist". Observers report the absence of a "clear political platform".

In the first round of September 15, Saied won 18.4% of the votes compared to 15.6% of the preferences collected by Karoui, a great absentee practically throughout the electoral campaign, patron of Nessma TV, described by many as "Berlusconi Tunisian "and leader of the newborn party In the heart of Tunisia.

The detention of Karoui had created a situation as unprecedented as uncomfortable in the Tunisian political arena, to the point that the interim president Mohamed Ennaceur had warned against the risk that the story of the tycoon could affect the credibility of the vote. Salwa Smaoui, wife of Karoui, spoke of the case involving her husband as "a betrayal of the revolution". The supporters of the patron of Nessma TV have denounced the will to silence the criticism against the government and they had also asked for the postponement of the vote, while the detractors have accused him of having exploited the issuer and the charity that he founded for to take political advantage.

Today's elections are the second presidential elections since 2011, since the end of the Ben Ali era. The former raìs died last September 19 in Saudi Arabia, where he had taken refuge after escaping from Tunisia in January eight years ago. The first presidential elections of the 'new' Tunisia were those that in 2014 led to the triumph of Beji Caid Essebsi, who died last July. The post-Ben Ali and post-Essebsi Tunisia, a country that has lived together for years with a state of emergency, remains hanging on an uncertain future, full of challenges.