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Conservative candidate’s supporters celebrate Tunisia election ‘win’

Projections suggested Kais Saied had won between 72 and 77% of the vote.

Tunisian independent law professor and presidential candidate Kais Saied (Mosa’ab Elshamy/AP)
Tunisian independent law professor and presidential candidate Kais Saied (Mosa’ab Elshamy/AP)

By Associated Press Reporter

Conservative law professor Kais Saied has overwhelmingly won Tunisia’s presidential election, polling agencies have said.

Mr Saied’s supporters exploded with joy, celebrating on the main boulevard of Tunis even though official results from Sunday’s run-off vote are not expected until Tuesday.

It was 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 Mr Saied would come out on top with between 72% and 77% of the vote.

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A voter dips his finger in ink (Mosa’ab Elshamy/AP)

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

Mr Saied, 61, is an independent outsider but is supported by moderate Islamist party Ennahdha, 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 Islamic extremism.

PA

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