Tunisia: vote for leader goes to runoff Essebsi-Marzouki

Secular candidate gets 39.46%, outgoing president 33.43%

25 November, 13:27

    Tunisia presidential race to go to December run-off Tunisia presidential race to go to December run-off

    (ANSAmed) - TUNIS, NOVEMBER 25 - Isie, Tunisia's independent electoral committee, published on Tuesday the official results of post-Ben Ali presidential elections held last Sunday.

    Exit polls were confirmed, though the distance between the two candidates was closer, and a runoff between the old leader of Nidaa Tounes, the party with the relative majority in the country, Béji Caid Essebsi, and the outgoing ''temporary'' president Moncef Marzouki, will be necessary as neither won an outright majority.

    Leading candidates obtained the following votes: Béji Caid Essebsi: 1.289.384 (39.46%); Moncef Marzouki: 1.092.418 (33.43%); Hamma Hammami: 255.529,(7.82%); Hechmi Hamdi: 187.923, (5.75%); Slim Riahi: 181.407, (5.55%). The date of the runoff vote has not been officially scheduled. The Constitution gives until December 31 and a likely date originally indicated as December 28 could be anticipated to December 12 or 14, according to Isie spokesman Kamel Toujani, depending on the number of appeals presented.

    An analysis of results and a comparison with previous legislative elections showed that Marzouki could take advantage of Ennhadha supporters as the party's leadership left voters free to pick a presidential candidate as it did not field its own candidate and could not agree on a name to back.

    Tunisia is holding its breath while waiting to know the name of the future president and is gearing up for another electoral campaign during which it will be key for the two rivals to win over voters who cast their ballots for another candidate in the first round of voting.

    The position adopted by Ennhadha and low turnout could be key for the outcome of the election and could change the cards on the table. (ANSAmed)

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