Moderate Islamists claim their party is set for victory in Tunisia’s historic first free election.
With counting now well underway, most forecasts point to the Ennahda party emerging with the biggest share of the vote, an outcome that worries secularists and could be replicated in other Arab states when they hold their own post-Arab Spring elections.
Turnout was more than 90 percent – a sign of people’s determination to exercise their new democratic rights, according to the election commission president, Kamel Jendoubi.
“It proves that Tunisians have regained self-confidence, it also shows that transparent and democratic elections are possible in a region like ours,” he says.
The 217 seat assembly Tunisians are electing will write a new constitution, choose a new interim government and set dates for parliamentary and presidential elections.
With an unexpectedly large number of ballots to count, election officials say results are not likely to be announced before Tuesday.