Tunisia : Ennahda claims victory in municipal elections

Tunisia’s Ennahda Party has claimed victory in the North African country’s first post-revolution municipal elections.

Ennahda’s top official Lotfi Zitoun announced after polls closed on Sunday that the Islamic party was more than 5 percent ahead of its main rival, the secular Nidaa Tounes Party.

Zitoun made his announcement based vote counts monitored by the party members.

Ennahda and Nidaa Tounes are expected to come out on top in nearly all 350 municipalities. The two parties are also coalition partners in the national government.

“It’s important that the two main parties won and it’s important for the political balance in the country,” said Borhan Bsais, a Nidaa Tounes official, adding that his party probably trailed Ennahda by 3 to 5 percent.

This is while the election commission reported voter turnout at 33.7 percent.

Adel Brinsi, a member of the Independent Electoral Commission, said that some abuses were observed at the polling stations, but they were not significant and did not affect the election results.

This is the first time municipal elections are being held since a 2011 revolution which toppled dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and ended decades of authoritarian rule in the country.

Tunisians had already voted in post-revolution parliamentary and presidential elections, but municipal elections had been delayed four times due to logistic, administrative, and political obstacles.

The North African country has been hailed for its relatively smooth democratic transition, but it is still experiencing economic and political turbulence.

By Africafrique and agencies

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