Tunisia’s independent presidential candidate claims electoral victory

PARIS, France –  Kais Saied, Tunisia’s independent presidential candidate, announced Sunday evening that he won the second round of the country’s presidential election.

“The state will continue with its international laws and obligations,” Saied addressed his supporters after the preliminary results of the presidential election signaled a landslide win for him.

“Today, we are trying to build our new Tunisia based on trust and responsibility,” Saied said.

According to a survey released by Tunisian company Sigma Conseil on Sunday, Saied, won 76.9 percent of the votes, defeating Nabil Karoui, the leader of Heart of Tunisia party and media mogul, who won only 23.1 percent of the vote.

Saied’s victory was also confirmed by Emrod Consulting, another company specializing in opinion polls in Tunisia.

Saied’s supporters celebrated his victory in front of the headquarters of his election campaign, and many of them took to the streets chanting slogans of victory.

At a press conference, Tunisia’s Independent High Authority for Election (ISIE) revealed on Sunday evening that the national participation rate of the second round of the presidential election was about 57.8 percent after the completion of 70 percent of the counting process.

“Abroad, the participation rate is of 23.5 percent,” the ISIE said.

The president of the ISIE, Nabil Baffoun, said that some polling stations overseas will close on early Monday given the jet lag with the Tunisian capital.

The official results would be announced on Monday.

Earlier, Tunisian Interim President Mohamed Ennaceur said that Tunisia was moving toward a difficult stage that requires taking action and initiating reforms through a broad consensus and participation of different parties.

“It also requires solidarity between different social categories,” he added.

Ennaceur told local media that the situation of the country requires the establishment of a national dialogue uniting all parties and organizations.

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Ben Mabande

Ben Mabande is a researcher and senior contributing reporter with Globe Afrique Media.
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