Tunisian Presidential Candidate Kais Saied Halts Election Campaigning

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Tunisian presidential candidate Kais Saied halts election campaigning as his contender media magnate Nabil Karoui is in prison citing "ethical" reasons.

Written By Tanima Ray | Mumbai | Updated On:

Tunisian presidential candidate Kais Saied has announced on October 5 that he will stop campaigning ahead of the final round of elections October 13. The candidate who seemed to be leading the race said that he took the decision because it would create an unfair advantage against his opponent, media magnate Nabil Karoui who has been imprisoned by authorities since August. The politician cited "ethical reasons" for stopping the campaign, said Tunisian state news agency. He wanted to remove the ambiguity related to the lack of equal opportunities between the two candidates.  Karoui has been under investigation since 2017 for money laundering and tax evasion, was placed in pre-trial detention on August 23 and subsequent applications to free him have been denied. He came second in the first round of the presidential election last month, behind Saied. 
Read: Tunisia’s Presidential Vote Pits Professor Vs. Prisoner

Saied's political approach in Presidential elections

Saied is a Tunisian jurist and professor of constitutional law who is running as an Independent in the 2019 Tunisian presidential election. His policies seek an appeal to younger voters. It also includes support for allowing citizens to recall their elected officials. Saied suggested voters that many of Tunisia's current issues were due to non-respect for many constitutional laws. He presented a plan to combat corruption. Saïed also portrayed himself as a man of the people, somewhat similarly to Nabil Karoui, another populist candidate. Saied led the first rounds of Presidential elections with 620,711 votes, coming in the first place and moved on to face Karoui in the second round.
Read: Tunisia: Karoui Detention Seen As A Wild Card For Political Supremacy

Saied's orthodox views

On the other hand, Saied depicts an orthodox image by showing his support for the death penalty. He also made statements that homosexuality, or rather its public expression, is financed and encouraged by foreign countries. The politician has taken conservative positions on women's issues as well, coming out against gender equality in inheritance issues, in accordance with the interpretation of religious law. There are media houses which cite Saied as "Robocop", given his monotonous voice, his use of Modern Standard Arabic rather than Tunisian dialect, and his focus on law and order issues. 

(With inputs from Associated Press)

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Also, read: Protests Erupt In Tunisia After Journalist Sets Himself On Fire

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