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Saied and Karoui to contest presidential runoff vote in Tunisia

A Tunisian woman registers to vote during presidential elections in the capital Tunis. [AFP Photo]

Law professor and detained media mogul won most votes in the first round of 's presidential election and will contest a runoff vote, the independent electoral commission said on Tuesday. Saied won 18.4% of votes and Karoui 15.6%, while Abdelfattah Mourou of the moderate Islamist Ennahda party came third in a crowded field of 26 candidates with 12.9%, the commission said in a televised statement.

's electoral authority says that jailed media magnate Nabil Karoui and independent law professor Kais Saied are advancing to the country's presidential election runoff.

The electoral commission announced Tuesday that the two outsider candidates came out on top in the first round of voting Sunday. Saied had 18.4% of the vote and Karoui 15.6%.

The date for the runoff hasn't yet been announced.

Neither candidate has ever held political office. They beat out two prime ministers and the candidate from moderate Islamist party Ennahdha, the biggest force in Tunisia's parliament.

Karoui's lawyers are seeking his release from jail before the runoff. Accused of tax evasion and money laundering, he says he's the victim of a smear campaign.

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