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2019 Tunisian presidential election

Presidential elections were held in Tunisia on 15 September 2019,[3] the second direct vote for the presidency since the 2011 revolution.[4] The elections had originally been planned for 17 and 24 November,[5] but were brought forward after the death of incumbent president Beji Caid Essebsi on 25 July to ensure that a new president would take office within 90 days, as required by the constitution.

2019 Tunisian presidential election

← 2014 15 September 2019 (first round)
13 October 2019 (second round)
2024 →
Turnout49.0% (first round)[1]
55.0% (second round)[2]
  Kaïs Saïed 2013 cropped.jpg NabilKaroui.jpg
Candidate Kais Saied Nabil Karoui
Party Independent Heart of Tunisia
Popular vote 2,777,931 1,042,894
Percentage 72.71 27.29

President before election

Mohamed Ennaceur (interim)
Nidaa Tounes

Elected President

Kais Saied
Independent

As no candidate received a majority of the vote in the first round, a runoff was held on 13 October between the top two candidates, Kais Saied and Nabil Karoui. Saied won the second round with 72.7% of the vote.[6]

BackgroundEdit

In April 2019, incumbent President Beji Caid Essebsi said that he would not seek re-election, opening the candidate field to other candidates. However, Essebsi died on 25 July at age 92, with five months left in his term. The President of the Assembly of the Representatives of the People, Mohamed Ennaceur, became interim president, according to the Constitutional provision for presidential succession.[7] According to Article 84 of the Tunisian constitution, an interim president may serve for a maximum of 90 days, meaning Ennaceur's role is due to expire on 23 October 2019.[8][better source needed] In order to comply with this, the High Authority for Elections announced the election will be held sooner than scheduled,[9] being moved up from 17 and 24 November to 15 September and 13 October.[10]

Electoral systemEdit

The President of Tunisia is directly elected by universal suffrage using the two-round system. If no candidate receives a majority of the vote in the first round, a second round is held between the top two candidates.[11] Candidates must be at least 35 years old on the day of filing for candidacy, and are also required to be Muslim. Candidates must have Tunisian citizenship, and are required give up any other citizenship they hold.

Electoral reform controversyEdit

On 18 June 2019, the Assembly of Representatives passed amendments to the country's electoral law, accused by some of blocking candidates like Nabil Karoui and Olfa Terras from being eligible to run in the election.[12] The amendments prohibited those with a criminal record, as well as those who run charitable organizations or received foreign funding for political advertising in the year preceding an election.[13] On 25 June, members of Nidaa Tounes and the Popular Front filed a motion in the Assembly of Representatives, calling the move unconstitutional.[13]

CandidatesEdit

Televised debatesEdit

For the first time in the country's history, presidential election debates were held in Tunisia. Organised by the Munathara Initiative and sanctioned by Tunisia's election authority, ISIE, the debates were held on 7, 8 and 9 September 2019. The debates were broadcast on 11 public and private Tunisian TV channels, on Al Jazeera, as well as on Algerian, Libyan, and Iraqi TV stations.[44] Some three million viewers, or 42 percent of the country's registered voters, followed the first debate. The figure does not include live streaming audiences or audiences outside Tunisia.[45]

Participating candidates in the ISIE-sanctioned debates[46]
Candidate

 P  Present  A  Absent  I  Invited  O  Invited to other debate  W  Withdrawn

1A - 7 Sept 1B - 8 Sept 1C - 9 Sept
Abbou P O O
Aïdi O O P
Boulabiar O P O
Briki P O O
Chahed O O P
Elloumi O O P
Fakhfakh O P O
Hamdi O P O
Hammami O O P
Jalloul P O O
Jebali O P O
Jomaa P O O
Karoui A O O
Makhlouf O O P
Mansour P O O
Marzouk O P O
Marzouki P O O
Mourou P O O
Moussi P O O
Mraihi O P O
Nouri O P O
Rahoui O P O
Riahi O O A
Safi Saïd O O P
Kaïs Saïed O O P
Zbidi O P O

Opinion pollsEdit

ResultsEdit

Candidate Party First round Second round
Votes % Votes %
Kaïs Saïed Independent 620,711 18.40 2,777,931 72.71
Nabil Karoui Heart of Tunisia 525,517 15.58 1,042,894 27.29
Abdelfattah Mourou Ennahda Movement 434,530 12.88
Abdelkrim Zbidi Independent 361,864 10.73
Youssef Chahed Long Live Tunisia 249,049 7.38
Safi Saïd Independent 239,951 7.11
Lotfi Mraihi Republican People's Union 221,190 6.56
Seifeddine Makhlouf Dignity Coalition 147,351 4.37
Abir Moussi Free Destourian Party 135,461 4.02
Mohamed Abbou Democratic Current 122,287 3.63
Moncef Marzouki Movement Party 100,338 2.97
Mehdi Jomaa Tunisian Alternative 61,371 1.82
Mongi Rahoui Popular Front 27,355 0.81
Hechmi Hamdi Current of Love 25,284 0.75
Hamma Hammami Independent 23,252 0.69
Elyes Fakhfakh Ettakatol 11,532 0.34
Saïd Aïdi Beni Watani 10,198 0.30
Omar Mansour Independent 10,160 0.30
Mohsen Marzouk Machrouu Tounes 7,376 0.22
Hamadi Jebali Independent 7,364 0.22
Néji Jalloul Independent 7,166 0.21
Abid Briki Tunisia Forward 5,799 0.17
Selma Elloumi Rekik Al Amal 5,093 0.15
Mohamed Esghaier Nouri Independent 4,598 0.14
Slim Riahi New National Union 4,472 0.13
Hatem Boulabiar Independent 3,704 0.11
Blank votes 23,867 15,912
Invalid votes 68,344 55,348
Total 3,465,184 100.00 3,892,085 100.00
Registered voters/turnout 7,074,566 48.98 7,074,566 55.02
Source: ISIE, ISIE

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Tunisia: How a cooking contest has brought rural voters to the ballot box". france24.com. 13 October 2019.
  2. ^ "Official Announcement by the Independent High Authority for Elections Regarding Results of the Second Round of the 2019 Presidential Election" (PDF). Independent High Authority for Elections of Tunisia. 14 October 2019.
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  6. ^ Tunisians Seeking Change Get an Unlikely President Bloomberg, 14 October 2019
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