Politics & Economics

Qais Said: The Tunisian Professor Set To Become President

North Africa

The exit polls in Tunisia reveal that Qais Said has defeated Nabil Karoui in the presidential elections by a wide margin.

According to the exit polls revealed by Sigma Consulting show that Qais Said gained 76.9 % in the second round of the presidential vote, leaving his rival Nabil Karoui with a mere 23.1%. The Emrod Institute puts the proportion of votes for Said slightly lower at 72.53%. 58% of the electorate is said to have participated in the second round of the presidential elections.

The wide gap between the two candidates comes as somewhat of a surprise since the results in the first round were so close, as Said had won 18.4% and Karoui 15.58%. There were fears that the second round would be delayed due to the detainment of Karoui due to fraud charges, however he was released just before the second round of the vote which took place in the end.

Despite the ongoing electoral campaign undertaken by Qais Said throughout the electoral process, questions remain regarding his ideological and political stances. He is generally considered to be a socially conservative politician, receiving endorsement from Ennahda Party despite technically being an independent candidate. He has also claimed to have plans to de-centralise the political system in Tunisia.

Although Said has not been directly involved in political activities, he has enjoyed a long career in the field of law, especially in the branches of public and constitutional law. He has contributed to the draft amendment of the Charter of the Arab League in 1989 and the draft system of the Court of Justice for the Arab league also in 1990.

Around a week ago the parliamentary elections also took place in Tunisia, again leading to no clear winner in the first round. Only 41% of Tunisians came out to vote in the recent parliamentary elections, with a majority of the population abstaining. Despite the democratic gains made in Tunisia since the 2011 revolution, some citizens have lost faith and touch with the political elite and mainstream parties.