Tunisia: Independent takes lead in presidential poll

TUNIS, Tunisia

With more than one fourth of votes sorted, the first round of the Tunisian presidential election showed on Monday Kais Saied, Nabil Karoui and Abdelfattah Mourou with a shot at qualifying for the second round.

Kais Saied, an independent candidate, garnered 19% of the vote, with Nabil Karoui of the Qalb Tounes (Heart of Tunisia) party taking 14.9% and Abdelfattah Mourou of the Ennahdha party receiving 13.1%.

Presidential elections are being held early in the country after the death of Beji Caid Essebsi, its first democratically-elected president.

In Tunisia’s electoral system, a candidate is required to receive a majority of votes to win the presidential ballot. If no candidate gets a majority in the first round, the two candidates with most votes will face off in a second, decisive round.

In this case, it appears that Saied and Karoui will complete in the next round, as both are projected with little chance of taking a majority of votes.

*Bassel Barakat contributed to this report from Ankara
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