A political outsider Kais Saied has stunned observers and disproved polls and expectations. With over two thirds of votes counted, Tunisia’s election commission on Monday said, Saied had garnered 18.9 percent, ahead of imprisoned media magnate Nabil Karoui, who was on 15.5 percent.
Now, this is something that is indeed shocking. In fact some newspapers in Tunisia have described the emergence of the two candidates as a political earthquake.
So who is Saied and how did Tunisians come to vote for him? First, Saied is known to be a conservative constitutionalist. He shunned political parties and mass rallies and instead opted to go door-to-door to explain his policies.
Those policies include a defense of the death penalty, criminalization of homosexuality and a sexual assault law that punishes unmarried couples who engage in public displays of affection.