Voting begins in Tunisia

23 October 2011

Results are expected on 24 October

Voting began today in Tunisia, nine months after the fall of former president Zine el-Abedine Ben Ali.

Voters are taking to the polls to elect a 217-seat assembly that will draft a new constitution and appoint an interim government. The Islamist Ennahda party is expected to win the majority of the votes. The party’s leader Rached Ghannouchi returned to Tunisia at the end of January after 22 years in exile in the UK (MEED 31:1:11).

Ennahda has stated its commitment to democracy and women’s rights. Its closest challenger is expected to be the secular, Progressive Democratic Party (PDP).

Campaigning began in early October with more than 100 political parties preparing to compete in the polls. Up to seven million people are registered to vote in the polls. Much focus will be on these elections as Tunisia was the catalyst for the Arab Spring. Results are expected on 24 October.

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