Saied and Karoui to face off in second round of Tunisia's presidential election

Nabil Karoui, left, a Tunisian media magnate and Kais Saied both reached the presidential runoff. (AFP)
Updated 18 September 2019

Saied and Karoui to face off in second round of Tunisia's presidential election

  • Saied gained 18.4 percent of votes and Karoui 15.6 percent
  • Both candidates -- though very different -- are seen as outsiders

TUNIS: Law professor Kais Saied and detained media mogul Nabil Karoui are set to advance to the next round of Tunisia's presidential polls, the electoral board said Tuesday.
Saied gained 18.4 percent of votes and Karoui 15.6 percent, it said, giving them places in a runoff likely to be held early next month.
The result is a major upset for Tunisia's political establishment, in place since the fall of dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali eight years ago after mass protests that sparked the Arab Spring revolts.
Both candidates -- though very different -- are seen as outsiders, drawing "anti-system" votes from an electorate disillusioned with the status quo.
Mistrust of the political establishment runs high in Tunisia, where unemployment is at 15 percent and the cost of living has risen by close to a third since 2016.
Saied, a fiercely independent academic, advocates radical decentralisation of power, with local democracy and the ability to remove elected officials from office during their mandates.
Karoui, who built his appeal on high-profile charity campaigns, is under investigation for alleged money laundering and has been in pre-trial detention since August 23.
Potential appeals notwithstanding, the second round could be held the same day as legislative elections on October 6, or a week later, the electoral commission has said.


Libya’s GNA govt detains 35 Egyptian fishermen

Updated 12 August 2020

Libya’s GNA govt detains 35 Egyptian fishermen

  • The GNA is still holding the fishermen without a clear accusation to justify their detention

CAIRO: The fate of at least 35 Egyptian fishermen hangs in the balance after they were arrested by the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) on Nov. 2 last year.  

The families of the fishermen have appealed to the Egyptian government to step up their efforts to secure their freedom as Cairo has been working on their release since November.

Little is known about the fate of the fishermen in Libya other than their location, after it was leaked to Egyptian authorities that they were held in the Turmina Prison, which is affiliated with the GNA.

The head of the Fishermen’s Syndicate in Kafr El-Sheikh, Ahmed Nassar, said they had not been able to communicate with the fishermen since last November and after their disappearance they came to learn that the GNA authorities had detained them.

The GNA is still holding the fishermen without a clear accusation to justify their detention. Nassar said that the fishermen were not fishing in Libyan territory without a permit.

Nassar explained that the fishermen were working on Libyan boats. Alongside them were a number of colleagues working on boats that belong to the Al-Wefaq government. They were not approached by anyone unlike their detained colleagues who were arrested and sent to prison without being charged with any crime.

The Fishermen’s Syndicate chief said that people had called on the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as the government, and the consular section had also been contacted about the matter.

Many of the detained fishermen come from Kafr El-Sheikh, while others come from Abu Qir in the governorate of Alexandria.

The fishermen had been supporting families of up to eight members.

Egyptian authorities say they are exerting great efforts to bring the fishermen back safely, while the fishermen’s families continue to demand safety and justice for the men.