ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Democracy Triumphs in Tunisia's First Free Elections

Despite attempts to demonise Tunisia's Al-Nahda, the Islamist party emerged as the most important in the elections held last month. Tunisia, where the Arab spring began, has shown what the ballot box can achieve.

The atmosphere was celebratory, a lmost like being at a carnival, on 23 October as 39,12,369 voters, or 56% of eligible citizens, lined up at polling places throughout the north African country of Tunisia for as long as three hours to cast their ballots. The first uprising in the Arab Spring revolts had produced the country’s and the Arab world’s first free and fair elections for an assembly to write a new constitution and choose a government to run the country on an interim b asis. A specially created independent electoral commission had replaced the ministry of interior to run the elections and over 5,000 poll watchers from abroad along with 1,000 foreign journalists and 2,000 Tunisian observers made certain that the elections would be fair and honest – and they largely were.

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