Nidaa Tounes comes first in Tunisia polls


Tunisia’s Nidaa Tounes Party has won parliamentary elections held to appoint Tunisia’s first five-year legislature since the 2011 ouster of former dictator Zine el-Abidine Bin Ali.

The election commission announced the results of the Sunday polls in the early hours of the morning on Thursday.

Trailed by the ruling al-Nahda party, Nidaa Tounes secured 85 of the 217 seats in the parliament, giving it the right to name a prime minister and lead a coalition government.

Al-Nahda won 69 seats – or nearly 32 percent – of the new parliament, representing a loss of some 23 seats.

The Free Patriotic Union of Slim Rihai, a millionaire football club owner and political neophyte, came third with 16 seats.

The winning party is led by Beji Caid Essebsi, an 87-year-old veteran politician, who previously served as foreign minister in the 1980s and parliament speaker in the early 1990s under Bin Ali.

Nearly 60 percent of the 5.2 million registered voters participated in the Tunisian parliamentary elections.

The event marked an important step toward the realization of democracy in the country following Ben Ali’s ouster, which kicked off the Islamic Awakening across the Middle East and North Africa.

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