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Tunisia: Electoral Authority Allows Interview With Imprisoned Presidential candidate

Tunisia: Electoral Authority Allows Interview With Imprisoned Presidential candidate

Tuesday, 10 September, 2019 - 08:15
Nabil Karoui, head of Heart of Tunisia Party, arrives at the Financial and Economic Judiciary pole in Tunis, Tunisia July 12, 2019. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi

The Independent High Authority for Elections (IHAE) approved Monday a request to hold a Televised talk with presidential candidate Nabil Karoui, head of Heart of Tunisia Party, who is now at Mornaguia Prison.

The approval raised questions about whether he would be released before the elections on Sep. 15.

Tunisian IHAE President Nebil Baffoun stated that the approval falls under promoting equality and equal opportunities among candidates as guaranteed by the Tunisian electoral law. The interview, whose date hasn’t been determined yet, would be broadcast at El Hiwar Ettounsi channel.

This interview is not the first of its kind – the same channel held days ago an interview with Slim Riahi, a Tunisian businessman who is a fugitive due to tax evasion and money laundry.

The first batch of televised debates on Saturday witnessed the absence of Karoui, imprisoned since August 23.

Ennahda Movement Abdel Fattah Moro urged other candidates to abstain from defamation and fabricating media reports. In a press conference on Monday, he stressed that Tunisian voters would choose the best and the most capable candidate to rule Tunisia through his electoral program.

Popular Front coalition candidate Hamma Hammami underpinned the importance of respecting the electoral law and demanded that the IHAE take legal procedures against actions by Moro, Youssef Chahed, and Abdul Karim al-Zubaidi.

Further, the Arab League (AL) will send a mission to monitor the presidential elections.

In a statement, the AL said the mission's members of different Arab nationalities, except Tunisian nationality, will be deployed in a number of Tunisian states, as part of the AL's keenness to support democracy and consolidate good governance in Tunisia.

The AL explained that the decision to send the mission comes in response to the invitation from Baffoun to participate in the observation process of the elections.

The mission, headed by Khalil al-Zawadi, assistant secretary-general of the AL and head of Arab Affairs and National Security Department, will arrive in Tunisia on Wednesday, where members of the mission will meet with various parties involved in the preparation for the elections.

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