Independent outsider and law professor wins landslide victory in presidential runoff, sweeping aside his rival, media magnate Nabil Karoui, exit poll shows.
Tunisians are going to choose the president among a populist tycoon who just got out of jail against a conservative professor in a runoff vote on Sunday.
Ennahda came first in Sunday's parliamentary election, winning 52 seats, while media mogul Nabil Karoui's Heart of Tunisia party won 38 seats in the 217-seat chamber, the electoral commission said.
While preliminary official results are not expected until Wednesday, Ennahdha and Qalb Tounes (Heart of Tunisia) — who have ruled out forming an alliance— were both swift to claim victory.
The vote comes two weeks after the first round of a presidential election that swept aside traditional political parties in favour of independent candidates, a trend likely to be repeated in the ballot for MPs.
During his era, Ben Ali's photograph was displayed in every shop, school and government office from the beach resorts of the Mediterranean coast to the impoverished villages and mining towns of Tunisia's hilly interior.
Neither candidate has ever held political office but they beat out two prime ministers and the candidate for the moderate religious party Ennahdha.
Nothing is certain in Tunisia's presidential election, only the second since the 'Arab Spring'.
As the election campaign gains momentum, the country's media tycoon Nabil Karoui remains imprisoned in a highly politicised case, raising questions about the judiciary's non-interference in court cases.
A large mix of candidates is getting ready to run for Tunisia’s presidency in what is set to be a highly competitive and unpredictable ballot, the second democratic presidential poll after the first historic elections in 2014.
The late president slipped away without leaving a strong political legacy, with his allies seemingly the first to move on and his party fragmented into five.
Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed's supporters set up a new political party to compete for the next presidential and parliamentary elections in late 2019. Could it be a game changer?
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