Tunisia elections point to secularist win

2014-10-27 22:38
Tunisians queue outside a polling station in La Marsa, Tunisia. (Hassene Dridi, AP)

Tunisians queue outside a polling station in La Marsa, Tunisia. (Hassene Dridi, AP)

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Tunis - The Islamist Ennahda party on Monday conceded defeat in Tunisia's legislative elections, as early indications showed the secularist Nidaa Tounes in first place.

Ennahda spokesperson Ziad al-Udhari, speaking on Mosaique FM radio, congratulated Nidaa Tounes on its performance, and called for a unity government to "confront the country's great expectations."

An exit poll carried out after voting closed on Sunday night showed Nidaa Tounes, led by former premier Beji Caid Essibsi, in first place with 37% of ballots.

The poll by Tunisian market research firm Sigma Conseil put Ennahda on 26%, with the left-wing Popular Front in third place with 5.4%.

The electoral commission has yet to announce official results.

The polls, in the country widely seen as the Arab Spring's sole success story, are the second since long-time autocrat Zine Abidine Ben Ali was deposed in 2011.

Ennahda came first in the legislative elections held later that year. It initially formed a coalition with two smaller secular parties, but withdrew in favour of a technocratic government earlier this year.

Read more on:    ennahda  |  north africa  |  tunisia elections 2014

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