Veteran Tunisian politician Beji Caid Essebsi has declared victory in the country’s presidential run-off, although official results are not due until later on Monday,
If confirmed, the win would consolidate his new secular party’s grip on power after defeating the main Islamist party in legislative elections in October.
His campaign manager Mohsen Marzouk told supporters on Sunday night that: “According to the first indications from polling stations we can say that Beji Caid Essebsi has won the 2nd round.”
Rival and incumbent president Moncef Marzouki has rejected the victory, reminding his voters that Essebsi’s early announcement was undemocratic and the country would have to wait for the official results.
The 2011 Arab Spring first kicked off in Tunisia. Unlike Egypt and Libya, unity has been maintained and the international community is keen things stay that way.
In last month’s first round Essebsi took 39 percent of the vote against Marzouki’s 33 percent.