The entire world “looks with admiration to Tunisia,” announced President-elect Kais Saied on Friday in his first statement after winning the presidential race.
The Independent Higher Authority for the Elections (ISIE) has announced Saied as the new President after the expiry of deadlines for filing challenges against the October 13 runoff results.
Saied, a 61-year-old constitutional law expert, obtained 72.71 percent of the votes, against 27.29 percent for his opponent businessman and President of “Heart of Tunisia” party Nabil Karoui.
Parliament will hold a plenary session next Wednesday that will see the President-elect take the oath of office.
Speaking to the state news agency (TAP), Saied said Tunisians are a “great people”, urging them to continue to make a new history based on legitimate demands, and adherence to noble values.
Immediately after announcing the elections results, thousands of young people volunteered to clean streets and public squares, and paint many walls and road boulevards in villages and cities, in response to activist calls on social media.
The President-elect described the volunteering campaigns that swept the country as an “unprecedented cultural revolution.”
The Journalists Syndicate and other civil society organizations criticized what they termed “incitement calls for violence” from a number of Saied supporters against journalists and the media.
In response, Saied called for respecting journalists and media outlets, noting that Tunisians will impress the world with their high morals and awareness of all conspiracies planned against them.
Contrary to expectations, Saied, an independent candidate, won in the first round of elections that included 26 candidates. He then reached the presidency by a wide margin against Karoui in the second round.
Saied won the support of the young angry, unemployed, and educated class. Several political parties also backed him.