Tunisian presidential candidate Béji Caid Essebsi is six percentage points ahead of incumbent Moncef Marzouki, but the margin is not big enough to prevent a run-off election in a fortnight. The Nidaa Tounes party chief won about 1.3 million votes, or 39.4% in the landmark election Sunday, while the interim president took 1.1 million votes, or 33.4%, Tunisia’s Independent High Electoral Commission (ISIE) announced on Tuesday (November 25th). More than 3.18 million voters took part in the poll. “In case no other presidential candidate submits an appeal against the results, a run-off will be held between December 12th-14th,” ISIE member Nabil Boufon said. Popular Front candidate Hamma Hammami came in third in the Sunday ballot, with 7.2% of the vote. Other top contenders were Hachmi Haamdi of al-Aridha Chaabia, who won 5.75%, and the Free Patriotic Union’s Slim Riahi, who received 5.55 %.
These parties may have a say in who becomes Tunisia’s next president, some experts suggest.
Winning the upcoming race will depend on which of the two contenders is able to forms alliances with other parties, political analyst Noureddine Mbarki told Magharebia.
“The second round won’t witness a conflict over platforms, but will be more focused on winning the other political blocs, whose candidates lost in the first round, especially the leftist Popular Front,” he said.
Full Article: allAfrica.com: Tunisia Braces for Presidential Runoff.