Presidential elections are scheduled to take place in Tunisia on 15 September 2019. If no candidate receives a majority of the vote, a runoff election will be no later than 3 November. Prior to the death of incumbent president Beji Caid Essebsi on 25 July, the elections had been planned for 17 and 24 November. However, as a result of Essebsi’s death, the elections were brought forward in order to ensure that a new president would take office within 90 days, as required by the constitution.
They will be the second direct presidential elections since the 2011 revolution.
In April 2019, incumbent President Beji Caid Essebsi said that he would not seek re-election, opening the candidate field to other candidates. However, Essebsi died on 25 July at age 92, with five months left in his term. The President of the Assembly of the Representatives of the People, Mohamed Ennaceur, became interim president, according to the Constitutional provision for presidential succession. According to Article 84 of the Tunisian constitution, an interim president may serve for a maximum of 90 days, meaning Ennaceur’s role is due to expire on 23 October 2019. In order to comply with this, the High Authority for Elections announced the election will be held sooner than scheduled.
The president is directly elected by universal suffrage by majority, with a second round between the top two candidates if no one receives an absolute majority in the first round. A presidential candidate must be at least 35 years old on the day of filing for candidacy, and must be a Muslim. The candidate must have Tunisian citizenship, and must give up citizenship of any other country.
Sources and further reading:
Factbox: Tunisia’s precarious 2019 presidential election
Four things to know about Tunisia’s presidential election
Who are the main candidates in Tunisia’s presidential election?