Jailed Tunisia magnate optimistic about winning presidency

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PARIS (AP) – Jailed Tunisian media magnate Nabil Karoui says he’s “reasonably optimistic” about winning Tunisia’s presidential runoff, where he is facing independent law professor Kais Saied.

They beat out two dozen other candidates in the first-round of voting on Sept. 15.

Karoui was jailed Aug. 23 pending an investigation into alleged money laundering and tax evasion charges. He was allowed to remain in the race because he has not been convicted.

The Associated Press sent questions to his lawyer, Kamel Ben Messaoud, who responded with Karoui’s comments. In those written answers, Karoui said “of course we have a chance, because it’s a second round and both candidates will restart from scratch.”

No date has been set yet for the presidential runoff but Tunisia’s electoral body says it will take place by Oct. 13.

This combination photo shows Nabil Karoui speaking to press after his trial in Tunis, Jan. 23, 2012, left, and Kais Saied speaking to the media in Tunis, Sept. 17, 2019. Tunisia’s electoral authority says on Tuesday, Sept. 17 that jailed media magnate Nabil Karoui and independent law professor Kais Saied are advancing to the country’s presidential election runoff. The electoral commission has announced that the two outsider candidates have come out on top in the first round of voting. (AP Photo)
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