Tunis, Tunisia – Polls have opened in Tunisia’s runoff presidential election between media magnate Nabil Karoui and conservative lawyer Kais Saied. The two self-styled “outsider” candidates delivered a shock to the Tunisian political establishment when they came in the top two of 26 candidates during the first round of election held on September 15.
Saied garnered 18.4 percent of votes while Karoui, who was released from prison just days ago, came second with 15.6 percent in the first round.
In the last hours of the campaign on Friday afternoon, the main avenue in Tunis was the site of two contrasting scenes.
At one end, Karoui’s campaign set up a stage with strobe lights and live music.
Karoui’s Qalb Tounes party emerged as the second-strongest in the newly elected parliament. At the other, Saied supporters organised a more modest gathering, with poetry readings and amateur leaflets.
“I hope that all Tunisians will have pasta to eat every night,” Karoui said on stage, responding to the nickname “makrouna” (pasta), given to him because of the charity handouts that he is known for.