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Huge turnout in Tunisia’s landmark election

Tunisian voters turned out in huge numbers on Sunday to elect members of a constitutional council in the country's first free elections, with election officials reporting turnout in excess of 70% of registered voters.


- Polling stations have closed after Tunisia’s first free elections.

- Islamist party Ennahda was predicted to win the most votes but is expected to fall short of achieving an outright majority in a new 217-seat assembly, whose first job will be to rewrite the country’s constitution.

- The elections were overwhelmingly peaceful and the turnout “exceeded all expectations”, according to the head of the electoral commission Kamel Jendoubi. 

- Official results will be announced “on Tuesday afternoon,” according to the electoral commission.

- The electoral commission and international observers reported that there had been no serious irregularities. Michael Gahler, head of the European Union observer mission, told AFP that the only problems were “delays caused by some voters having difficulty finding their voting stations.”

- The vote was overseen by some 42,000 soldiers and policemen, as well as some 13,500 local and international observers.

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