2019-10-09 Africa North||EU observers regret Tunisia ‘silent campaign’ ahead of vote
[ENGLISH.ALARABIYA.NET] An EU observer mission on Tuesday regretted the lack of campaigning for Tunisia’s presidential run-off between a candidate detained in prison and a rival who has called off his own canvassing for votes.|
Business tycoon Nabil Karoui has been behind bars since late August - just before campaigning began for the first round - in a money laundering probe, but won through to the run-off on Sunday.
He will run against conservative law professor Kais Saied, who announced last Saturday that he would stop his campaign to keep a level playing field with his adversary.
"What we are seeing is an unprecedented situation - a campaign of silence instead of debate - because one cannot campaign and the other does not want to," said Fabio Massimo Castaldo, head of the EU observer mission.
The mission, as well as many Tunisian political bodies and officials, has called for Karoui to be able to campaign freely, but courts have rejected several appeals for his release.
Nazih Souei, a lawyer for Karoui, told AFP on Tuesday that his client has lodged a suit to postpone the second round until he is free and able to campaign.
"We still hope there will be opportunities, ways of allowing each candidate to express his view," Castaldo said, while expressing support for the Tunisian judiciary, told a news conference.
"Our concern is that every voter has access to the positions of the different candidates so as to shape an informed opinion," he added.
|Posted by Fred 2019-10-09 00:00||
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