Presidential candidate Kais Saied says he has stopped campaigning before Tunisia’s runoff vote as it would have created an unfair advantage over his jailed opponent, media magnate Nabil Karoui.
The independent academic cited “ethical reasons” for halting any active campaigning for the October 13 polls, Tunisian state news agency TAP reported on Saturday.
Saied said he wanted “to remove the ambiguity related to the lack of equal opportunities between the two candidates”.
Karoui has been imprisoned since August 23 on allegations of money laundering and tax evasion. His supporters claim he was jailed on the eve of the election for political reasons as he was leading the polls.
On Friday, interim President Mohamed Ennaceur said in a brief televised statement that the authorities needed to find “an honourable solution” to the issue.
“One of the two candidates who won the first round is in prison and does not have the freedom to campaign or speak to his voters,” he said. “We will continue to ask all officials to find an honourable solution that respects the judiciary to overcome the unusual and strange situation.”