Tunisia casts vote in first free election

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Election campaign leaflets for the election in Tunisia.
Image: Bellyglad.

Voters in Tunisia went to the polls on Sunday in the first elections for the country since the events of January this year, when President Ben Ali was toppled after twenty three years by the revolt which triggered the Arab Spring.

The electoral commision announced that 90 percent of the 4.1 millon registered citizens in the electorate had voted. 3.1 million citizens were eligible to vote but unregistered. It has been predicted that Ennahda, an Islamist party, will become the single largest party with about 40 percent of the vote, short of a majority. The actual result, according to election officials, should be released late Monday or Tuesday.

an important step forward

President Barack Obama

There were queues hundreds of metres long throughout Tunisia from early morning. The polls started closing at around 19:00 local time (1800 UTC) but those already queued were allowed to vote.

United States President Barack Obama has congratulated the Tunisians stating that the election is "an important step forward". David Cameron said they were "leading the way" for North Africa and the Middle East.