Tunisia votes in North Africa's first free local election

Tunisia's president votes in local elections
Tunisia's president votes in local elections
By Euronews
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Tunisia is regarded as the only democratic success of the Arab Spring after avoiding major violence or a return to authoritarian rule.


Tunisia was where the Arab Spring first began in 2011 - and now it's where North Africa's first local election is being held too.

Over five million people are eligible to vote including, for the first time, some in remote corners of the country.

In a another sign of progress, half the candidates must be women. A quarter must also be under 35 and there's also a quota for the disabled.

Rached Yannoushi, the leader of the Ennahdha party which used to have an Islamic leaning, cast his vote in Tunis.

It's since abandoned political Islam to attract more secular votes, but the party is not expected to win the most votes.

Instead it's the secular Nidaa Tounes party that should come out on top - a sign that Tunisia is still the most secular Arab state.

The biggest headache for president Beji Caid Essebsi is likely to be if there's a low turnou amongst the many young and unemployed people who feel their future remains bleak, almost seven years after the Arab Spring.

The vote was postponed several times, raising fears among activists that figures from the old regime were trying to stall the advances promised after the uprising.

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