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Tunisia projections say Kais Saied wins election

  • 13 Oct 2019

Independent outsider and law professor wins landslide victory in presidential runoff, sweeping aside his rival, media magnate Nabil Karoui, exit poll shows.

Tunisia's presidential candidate Kais Saied wave to supporters as he leaves a polling station in the capital Tunis on October 13, 2019 during the second round of the presidential election. ( AFP )

Tunisian polling agencies on Sunday predicted that conservative law professor Kais Saied has overwhelmingly won the North African country's presidential election.

Saied's supporters exploded with joy, celebrating on the main boulevard of Tunis even though official results from runoff vote aren't expected until Tuesday. 

It's only Tunisia's second democratic presidential election since it overthrew a dictator in the 2011 Arab Spring pro-democracy uprising.

Polls carried in Tunisian media by Sigma Conseil and Emhrod Consulting forecast that Saied would come out on top with between 72 percent and 77 percent of the vote. 

Rival Nabil Karoui, who was in jail for most of the campaign, was projected to win between 23 percent and 27 percent.

Saied, 61, is an independent outsider but is supported by Ennahdha party, which won last week's parliamentary elections. He promised to hand more power to young people and local governments.

The winner will inherit a country struggling to revive tourism, create jobs and stem militancy.

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