What Happened: Early returns from the first round of Tunisia's presidential elections suggest that independent outsider Kais Saied secured 18.9 percent of the vote, followed by detained media magnate Nabil Karoui at 15.5 percent and Islamist Ennahda party candidate Abdelfattah Mourou at 12.9 percent, according to Tunisia's electoral authority.
Why It Matters: The preliminary results suggest a surprise showing by political outsiders in Tunisia's presidential election and a rejection of the political establishment. Prime Minister Youssef Chahed has already said he wouldn't contest the results, raising the likelihood of a smooth and peaceful transition of power.
Background: Tunisia held early presidential elections after the death of President Beji Caid Essebsi on July 25. Growing dissatisfaction with the country's political establishment has driven many Tunisians toward political outsiders, such as Karoui, who is currently imprisoned but enjoys a strong reputation among the population.
- Tunisia's Budding Democracy Faces Its Biggest Test (Aug. 26, 2019)
- Tunisia: The President's Ill Health Compounds the Woes of a Country on Edge (June 28, 2019)
- Tunisia's Two Sheikhs Are Frenemies No More (Sept. 27, 2018)