Tunisian Islamist Party Victory Confirmed After Election Appeals

Tunisia’s Islamist Ennahdha party was confirmed as winning the most seats in last month’s national elections, after the process for disputing the results was concluded.

The announcement on the outcome of the first balloting since the country’s revolt is final and was made after an administrative court issued rulings on appeals contesting the vote for a constituent assembly that will write a new constitution.

Ennahdha won 89 of the 217 seats in the Oct. 23 vote, Kamel Jandoubi, head of the country’s elections commission, told reporters today. The Congress for the Republic came second with 29 seats and Areedha Chaabiya, or the Popular Petition party, came third with 26. Ettakatol was fourth with 20 seats.

Ennahdha, banned until about six months ago, said last month that it was in consultations to form a unity government and that no group will be excluded from talks. The party’s secretary-general, Hamadi Jbeli, has said that he will be its candidate for prime minister. The assembly will convene for the first time on Nov. 22, Jandoubi said.

Tunisia’s vote was viewed as a test of democratization efforts in the region. The country’s overthrow of its president this year inspired similar revolts across the Middle East and North Africa, leading to the ouster of rulers in Libya and Egypt and unrest in Syria, Bahrain and Yemen. More than 90 percent of Tunisia’s 4.1 million registered voters cast ballots.

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