Anti-gay candidate leads in Tunisia’s presidential election


Anti-gay law professor Kais Saied won the most votes in the first round of Tunisia’s presidential election, the Tunisian electoral commission announced. This is the country’s second free presidential election since protesters during the 2011 Arab Spring ousted Tunisian leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Africa News reported that Saied, a political outsider, received 18.4 percent of the votes. In second place is imprisoned media magnate Nabil Karoui, another outsider, with 15.6 percent. Saied and Karoui will face off in a run-off election. This was the first Tunisian presidential campaign with an openly gay presidential candidate, Mounir Baatour, co-founder of the LGBT rights group Shams. His candidacy was disqualified by Tunisia’s Independent High Authority for Elections, but not before it stirred controversy both inside and outside the country’s LGBT community.

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