Detained mogul's presidential run tests Tunisia 's democracy
Media magnate Nabil Karoui's run for president was testing the rules of Tun...
A boy puts a sticker of presidential candidate Nabil Karoui on his friend's t-shirt during a campaign in Tunis,Tunisia September 10, 2019. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi
If he beats the 25 other candidates to the presidency, but is then convicted and barred from office, it could prompt outrage among his voters - and a political crisis in Tunisia.
Chahed rarely mentions Karoui by name, but says his own campaign is aimed at combating “media mafia” and “adventurers who threaten the democratic transition”.
Local and foreign election monitoring groups have complained that he was unable to take part in a recent televised debate, arguing that it breached his right to speak to voters on equal terms with rivals.
His arrest, a run-in with the media regulator and an ultimately unsuccessful parliamentary bill that would have kept him from running, were also evidence of a campaign against him, Chaouachi said, blaming the prime minister.
“Nobody cares for us. Nabil Karoui is the only one to help Kabariya. All Kabariya will vote for him,” said Mohammed Ali, a casual laborer in black t-shirt and jeans.
Karoui had built a media company with his brother before the revolution, but rose to prominence after it as his Nesma TV backed secular parties against the moderate Islamist Ennahda, helping them win elections in 2014.
The media regulator ordered it taken off air, leading to a police raid on its headquarters, which the channel said was aimed to silence a critical voice. It continues to broadcast, still without a license.
Reporting by Tarek Amara and Angus McDowall; Editing by Andrew CawthorneRead more: Reuters Top News
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