From the parliamentary elections in Tunisia, the moderate Islamists emerged again as the strongest force. According to the election commission, the Ennahda party secured 52 out of the 217 seats in parliament according to preliminary results – equivalent to 23.9 percent of the votes cast.
Thus, she relies on an alliance with other parties to govern the North African country. The newly-formed party "Kalb Tounes" (Heart of Tunisia) presidential candidate Nabil Karoui came with 38 seats (17.5 percent) in second place. The former governing party "Nida Tounes" of President Beji Caid Essebsi, who died in July, ended up being run down.
Tunisia faces a difficult formation of government because of the election result – the third and fourth placed parties took 22 and 21 seats. While the established Ennahda lost significantly in votes, "Kalb Tounes" cut off sharply. Its party leader Nabil Karoui will play next Sunday in a runoff election for the presidency against the constitutional lawyer Kais Saied. Both are political outsiders.
Karoui was arrested on suspicion of tax evasion and money laundering and was in jail for weeks, but was finally released following a complaint against his imprisonment. Karoui was with 15.6 percent of the votes just behind Saied (18.4 percent) moved into the runoff.