UPDATE WITH SAIED'S REMARKS
By Adel Al-Thabiti
TUNIS (AA) - Tunisian independent candidate Kais Saied has secured more than 72 percent of votes in the presidential elections held on Sunday, said an exit polls agency.
According to Amrod agency, business tycoon Nabil Karoui got 27.4 percent of the votes in the elections.
In a speech, Saied claimed victory and thanked his supporters for votes.
"We are entering a new stage in Tunisian history and we will take up all the challenges with our determination," he said.
Saied went on to affirm that during his tenure, his country "will continue to abide by the international agreements and covenants."
After assuming the office of president, Saied said, he will visit Algeria in his first foreign tour and wished to visit the war-torn Libya “soon”.
His victory speech came amid celebrations by thousands of Tunisians.
Tunisians went to polling stations on Sunday to elect the country's second elected president since the 2011 uprising.
Polling stations opened nationwide at 8:00 a.m. local time (0700 GMT) and were shut at 17:00 p.m. (1600 GMT).
More than 7 million Tunisians were eligible to cast ballots in Sunday's vote, according to the country's electoral commission.
The winner of Sunday's vote will replace Tunisia's first freely elected President Beji Caid Essebsi, who died last July.