In another landmark for democracy in Tunisia parliament celebrated its new President, Moncef Marzouki, who was imprisoned and then exiled under the old regime of the ousted Ben Ali.
The 66-year-old topped the ballot amongst members of the constitutional assembly, Tunisia’s interim parliament.
He will hold the second most powerful role in the country after the prime minister.
“You gave me your trust to be the representative of our people, of the State and of the revolution. And it is the biggest thing you could give me,” he told the assembly.
The new president polled 153 of the 202 votes which were cast. About 40 members of the assembly put in blank ballots as a protest. They said the election was a charade to mask the fact real power was now held by the Islamists.
The president will serve for a year until the constitution is re-written and new elections are held.