Monday, October 24, 2011

Tunisia Polls.

Islamists surge ahead in Tunisia polls
AFP | Oct 25, 2011, 06.02AM IST
TUNIS: Tunisia's main Islamist party claimed on Monday to have captured about 40% of the vote in the country's first free polls, as the cradle of the Arab Spring basked in praise for its democratic revolution. Official results were only due on Tuesday but provisional results released by some media outlets appeared to confirm Ennahda's prediction that it would be the dominant force in Tunisia's constituent assembly.

The leader of the secular centre-left PDP party, tipped as Ennahda's main challengers before the vote, conceded defeat. "The trend is clear. The PDP is badly placed. It is the decision of the people. I bow before their choice," leader Maya Jribi said.

Tunisians turned out en masse on Sunday to elect an assembly seen as the custodian of the pro-democracy revolution that brought dictator Zine el Abidine Ben Ali's 23-year-old rule to a crushing end nine months ago. "We are not far from 40%. It could be a bit more or a bit less, but we are sure to take 24 (of the 27) voting districts," Samir Dilou, a member of Ennahda's political bureau said. Another executive member said the Ennahda party's own count showed it would have between 60 and 65 seats on the 217-member body.

Data posted on the site of radio station Mosaique FM also gave Ennahda the lead based on non definitive results from a few dozen polling centres.

The polls, for which over 90% of some 4.1 million registered voters turned out, won hearty acclaim from world leaders. "This landmark election constitutes a key step in the democratic transition of the country and a significant development in the overall democratic transformation in NAfrica and Middle East," UN chief Ban Ki-moon said.

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