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Tunisians risk electing an imprisoned presidential candidate


Is there a risk of a presidential vacuum in the event of the victory of the imprisoned candidate Nabil Karoui? A question drawing attention to Tunisia’s democracy.

Imprisoned in Mornaguia prison, near Tunis, the 56-year-old millionaire under investigation for money laundering and tax fraud has been in prison since 23 August.

The electoral body has allowed him to continue the electoral battle since only a conviction could have legally prevented him from doing so.

In the event of the businessman’s victory, Nabil Karoui will not be able to take the oath. There could be a presidential vacuum that would lead to another election.

“In the event that Mr. Karoui is elected – he is still in prison – there is the possibility that there will be a decision to release him and there he can take an oath and the process continues, or on the contrary, if there will be a deadlock, finally, perhaps the possibility is to go to declare the presidency vacant, and therefore go, once again, to elections for exceptions,” said Chafik Sarsar, professor, Public Law and Former head of electoral commission.

Nabil Karoui, who finished second with 15.58% of the votes, qualified for the second round of the presidential election against his competitor Kaïs Saïed.

if elected, it would not mean the end of his judicial troubles because there is no presidential immunity.

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