Tunisian former conservative constitutional law professor Kais Saied stands in his office in Tunis, Tunisia, Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019. With more than half the votes in Tunisia's presidential race counted, Kais Saied, the former conservative constitutional law professor was in the lead. (AP Photo/Mosa'ab Elshamy)

Jailed tycoon, professor in Tunisian presidential runoff

September 17, 2019 - 10:36 am

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Tunisia's electoral authority says that jailed media magnate Nabil Karoui and independent law professor Kais Saied are advancing to the country's presidential election runoff.

The electoral commission announced Tuesday that the two outsider candidates came out on top in the first round of voting Sunday. Saied had 18.4% of the vote and Karoui 15.6%.

The date for the runoff hasn't yet been announced.

Neither candidate has ever held political office. They beat out two prime ministers and the candidate from moderate Islamist party Ennahdha, the biggest force in Tunisia's parliament.

Karoui's lawyers are seeking his release from jail before the runoff. Accused of tax evasion and money laundering, he says he's the victim of a smear campaign.

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