Oct 10, 2019

Tunisian presidential contender released from jail before election

Nabil Karoui. Photo: Khaled Nasraoui/picture alliance via Getty

A Tunisian presidential contender who had campaigned from jail was released Wednesday ahead of Sunday's run-off.

Background: Nabil Karoui, a media mogul and philanthropist, was arrested in August on tax fraud charges he says were politically motivated. He ran his populist campaign from prison.

  • He'll face Kais Saied, a socially conservative former law professor, in a matchup of unorthodox candidates after voters emphatically rejected the political establishment in last month's first round.

Why it matters: Tunisia was the only democracy to emerge from the Arab Spring of 2011. But its progress looks fragile and the population is growing disillusioned. Some fear that if Karoui loses, he'll challenge the results on the basis of his arrest.

Go deeper: Preliminary results of Tunisia's parliamentary elections were announced Wednesday night. Ennahda, an Islamist party, finished first.

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Law and Justice, Poland's ruling nationalist party, easily wins elections

Leader of the Law and Justice party Jaroslaw Kaczynski. Photo: JP Black/LightRocket via Getty Images

Poland's ruling Law and Justice party is set to extend its parliamentary majority after coming in first with 43.6% of the vote in Sunday's elections, according to an exit poll reported by AP.

Why it matters: The right-wing, populist Polish government has clashed with the European Union over issues related to the rule of law, with the EU passing a motion in 2017 censuring Poland for cracking down on judicial independence. While Law and Justice has maintained popularity thanks in part to a generous social welfare system and strong economic growth, the party's social conservatism and targeting of LGBT people have contributed to an increasingly polarized society.

Keep ReadingArrowOct 13, 2019

Giuliani says he was paid $500,000 to work for indicted associate's firm

President Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani speaks during a conference in Albania in July. Photo: Gent Shkullaku/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani told Reuters Monday he was paid $500,000 in consultancy work for the fraud prevention firm Fraud Guarantee, co-founded by indicted Ukrainian-American businessman Lev Parnas.

Why it matters: Parnas and Igor Fruman were arrested this month and charged with violating campaign finance laws and conspiracy. The Trump donors had helped connect Giuliani with Ukrainian officials as part of his efforts to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son.

Go deeperArrowOct 15, 2019

Bolivia's post-election turmoil reflects fall from grace for Morales

Evo Morales. Photo: Fotoholica Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Bolivia is poised between electoral uncertainty and political turmoil amid growing concerns that election day fraud may deny opposition candidate Carlos Mesa the chance to face incumbent president Evo Morales in a December 15 runoff.

The big picture: The Supreme Court's controversial decision to let Morales run for another term set a disillusioned backdrop for Sunday's vote, following a 2016 citizen's referendum that had disapproved of the rule change. Polling suggests a runoff could boost Mesa's chances, making Bolivian voters who already harbor doubts about the transparency of the electoral system even less likely to accept a first-round Morales victory.

Go deeperArrowOct 23, 2019