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Nabil Karoui remains candidate for the presidential elections despite his arrest (Supreme Commission)

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — Founder of the Nessma TV channel, Nabil Bifouni, is still considered a candidate for the country’s presidential elections despite being arrested on charges of money laundering, the head of the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) said Saturday.

The “Heart of Tunisia” party, which is headed by Karoui, announced on Friday that he was arrested, one of 26 candidates who have received preliminary approval for their candidacy in the elections scheduled for September 15.

A judicial official said an arrest warrant had been issued against Karoui and his brother Ghazi on money laundering charges.

Karoui, a strong contender to Prime Minister Youssef Chahed, is a candidate for the party “Long live Tunisia”, which has a strong chance to win the presidency.

He confirmed that Nabil Karoui “remains a candidate and remains on the list of candidates and then the final list of candidates” seeking to win the presidency.

“As long as he meets the conditions for candidacy and nothing has changed in his status and in his legal status, he is a candidate for the presidential election,” Pfone told state radio.

“The electoral law does not prevent the candidacy, even if there are strict judicial rulings, unless the ruling includes the prohibition of candidacy.”

The villager was charged on July 8 with “money laundering” and his property and assets were frozen and prevented from traveling abroad to this day.

The Independent High Commission for Audiovisual Communication decided to ban three local media organizations, including Nessma TV, from covering the election campaigns because of “illegal” and unauthorized broadcasting.

Karoui is accused of using his channel to further his political ambitions.

The announcement of his candidacy for the presidential elections has alarmed the ruling circles to the extent that the parliament approved in June an amendment to the electoral law submitted by the prime minister, which provides for the rejection and cancellation of the candidacy of all those found to have benefited from prohibited acts on political parties during the year before the elections, whether legislative or presidential. .

However, the late President Beji Caid Essebsi did not sign the amendment of the law, leaving the door open for the villager to participate.

In recent years, Nabil Karoui has been able to present himself as a charity entrepreneur by distributing subsidies to families and people living in poverty in the interior of the country.

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