‘Outsider’ leads after divisive Tunisia presidential poll

TUNIS: With more than half the votes counted in a presidential election, Tunisians have delivered a political earthquake by rejecting established leaders for a little known law professor and a media mogul jailed on suspicion of tax evasion.
Kais Saied (pictured) and Nabil Karoui are leading 24 other candidates, who included the prime minister, two former prime ministers, a former president and the defence minister, and appear certain to advance to a runoff vote next month.
It represents a sharp rebuke of elected governments that have struggled to improve living standards or end graft after Tunisia’s 2011 revolution introduced democracy.
“He will fight corruption and establish a just state and continue the process of the revolution,” said fishmonger and Saied voter Noureddine el-Arabi, proudly showing the inky forefinger that proved he had voted.
Karoui has for years used his Nessma TV station and the charity he founded after his son died to present himself as a champion of the poor and a scourge of government, while his critics describe him as an ambitious and populist. — AFP