With over half Tunisian votes counted, law professor leads

Kais Saied, a constitutional law professor without a party, kisses the national flag after hearing the unofficial results of the presidential elections, Sunday, Sept.15, 2019. A jailed media magnate and an independent outsider appeared likely to face off in Tunisia’s presidential runoff, after a roller coaster first-round race in the country that unleashed the Arab Spring pro-democracy uprisings. (Photo/STR)

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TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — With more than half the votes in Tunisia’s presidential race counted, a former conservative constitutional law professor was in the lead.

The body in charge of elections said Monday that Kais Saied, 61 was top with 18.7%. It said 52% of the ballots cast in Sunday’s vote have been counted.

Media magnate Nabil Karoui, a more modernizing candidate, was in second place with 15.5%. Karoui, 56, has been in jail since last month on money laundering and tax evasion charges, but was allowed to run because he hasn’t been convicted.

In line with Sunday night’s post-vote projections, Abdelfattah Mourou of the moderate Islamist party Ennahdha, was third with 13.1%.

Complete results must be announced by Tuesday.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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