Polls close in Tunisia’s parliamentary elections


Polls have closed in Tunisia’s parliamentary elections, the first vote under a new constitution passed earlier this year.

On Sunday, polling stations opened throughout the country at 07:00 local time (06:00 GMT) and closed at 18:00 (17:00 GMT).

Election officials said some 60 percent of the 5.2 million registered voters participated in the polls.

Official results will not be announced before Wednesday; however, the ruling Ennahda Movement is expected to do well in the vote.

Its main challenger is probably Nidaa Tounes (Call of Tunisia) founded by the former Prime Minister Beji Caid el-Sebsi after the post-revolution election in 2011.

Rashid al-Ghannushi, the head of the Ennahda, voted at a polling station in the northeastern town of Ben Arous.

Ghannushi has said that his party is ready to make a coalition with whoever the voters choose.

More than 13,000 candidates started their official electoral campaigns around three weeks ago for the 217 seats in the country’s National Constituent Assembly (NCA).

Major parties campaigned for the election on the platform of fighting unemployment and reinvigorating the economy.

Many Tunisians believe that successful elections will pave the way for political, social, and economic stability.

The parliament will be Tunisia’s first legislature since the ouster of former dictator Zine el-Abidine Bin Ali in the 2011 revolution.

Tunisia is the birthplace of pro-democracy protests across North Africa and the Middle East.

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