Mounir Baatour is the first openly gay man aspiring to contest the presidential election in Tunisia.
On Thursday, the lawyer submitted his candidacy, a first in the Arab world.
“I do not think my sexual orientation has anything to do with my candidacy. I am first and foremost a Tunisian citizen. I have the right to introduce myself to the Tunisian people to ask for their vote to be elected”, he said.
I do not think my sexual orientation has anything to do with my candidacy.
He is hoping to ensure that the LGBTQ community have their rights in society.
“Among the things that I will surely do is to guarantee the rights of the LGBT community that is being persecuted in Tunisia, and especially the abolition of Article 230 of the Penal Code, which penalizes homosexuality,’‘ Baatour said.
Baatour, served three months in prison for sodomy with a 17 year old student in 2013. He denied the accusation. Homosexuality is repressed in this North African nation.
But nearly a dozen groups defending rights of gay and trans people in North Africa and the Mediterranean say the President of the Liberal Party represents ‘‘danger’‘ for the LGBTQ community.
Tunisia’s Independent Electoral Authority will release a list of candidates validated for the September 15 election on August 31.
More than 60 candidates have filed their nominations to contest.