Tunisia counted votes from Sunday’s parliamentary elections, as an exit poll suggested that the religious Ennahda Party would receive the most ballots, while falling far short of the majority needed to form a government.
Polling by local firm Sigma Conseil showed Ennahda leading with 17.5 percent of votes, with Heart of Tunisia — the party of jailed TV mogul Nabil Karoui — in second with 15.6 percent.
While the split was expected, it is likely to spell a prolonged period of horse-trading between politicians in the North African country that has already endured years of bickering and compromises.
Preliminary results in the vote for Tunisia’s 217-member assembly are due by Thursday.
Under Sigma’s figures, Ennahda would get 40 seats and Heart of Tunisia 33.
Nidaa Tounes, formerly the main centrist option, could win just one seat, down from 86 in 2014, the poll found.
Tunisia, which kicked off the Arab Spring in 2011 with mass protests that ousted then-Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, is the only country to have emerged from the maelstrom with a viable democracy.
However, many of the 11.5 million citizens accuse the government of failing to improve their lives, as political infighting and sporadic militant attacks have sapped the economy.
That discontent fueled a rejection of the political establishment in the Sept. 15 presidential vote, where low-profile law professor Kais Saied and Karoui, a self-proclaimed champion of the poor who is being held on corruption charges he denies, took the lead.
The two outsiders are to compete in a runoff on Sunday.
Ennahda, which has held various posts in Tunisia’s government before, said late on Sunday it had secured “an indisputable win” and would pursue a “policy of partnership with other parties on the basis of a fight against poverty and combating corruption.”
The once-outlawed party says it has abandoned political Islam, although secularist critics continued to accuse it of having plans to subvert Tunisia’s modern history of secularism.
The Democratic Current, which Sigma’s poll showed could win 5.1 percent of the vote, quickly ruled out a coalition with Ennahda.
Ennahda is backing Saied for the presidency after its candidate’s bid failed, while Ennahda leader Rashid Ghannouchi ran for parliament in Tunisia’s largest constituency.
Sigma’s exit poll for the presidential vote correctly predicted the main result.
About 41 percent of the country’s more than 7 million registered voters cast a ballot, electoral authorities said.
FRENCH AID: Paris has sent a navy ship and aircraft from Reunion Island with some pollution control equipment, but rough seas are spreading the oil spill The operator of a Japanese bulk carrier which ran aground off Mauritius in the Indian Ocean yesterday apologized for a major oil spill, which officials and environmentalists say is creating an ecological disaster, as police prepared to board the ship. The MV Wakashio, operated by Mitsui OSK Lines, struck the reef on Mauritius’ southeast coast on July 25. “We apologize profusely and deeply for the great trouble we have caused,” Mitsui OSK Lines executive vice president Akihiko Ono said at a news conference in Tokyo. The company would “do everything in their power to resolve the issue,” he said. At least 1,000 tonnes of
They stand as eyesores to most passers-by and potential public health risks to authorities, decaying buildings wrapped in tangles of exposed wire, studded with protruding leaky plastic pipes, vegetation billowing from cracks and terraces where particulates from polluted air have accumulated over time. With skyscrapers and ultramodern developments on every side, some of these “nail houses” are also sitting on land worth millions of dollars in Shenzhen’s inferno of a property market, where new-unit and second-hand home prices rival London. In battles over land and development, the nail house phenomenon has become widespread throughout China over the past two decades, with owners
A cat that went missing on a family holiday on the shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland, has been identified 12 years later. Tortoiseshell-and-white Georgie spent October half term in 2008 with her owners at the Rowardennan campsite, but vanished as they were due to return home to Greater Manchester, England. After a search of the site the Davies family departed without Georgie, hoping the three-year-old microchipped feline would be located by someone. Over the intervening 12 years, she remained close to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park site, being fed and cared for by campsite staff and holidaymakers. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdown
An Italian alpine resort on Friday remained on high alert over fears that a vast chunk of a glacier on the slopes of the Mont Blanc massif could plummet in high temperatures. “No one gets through! No cars, bikes or pedestrians,” was the message at a checkpoint where an automatic barrier and two guards blocked the small road snaking up into a lush valley below the Planpincieux glacier, near the town of Courmayeur and the Italian-French border. The blockade has largely been greeted with contempt by the locals, one of whom said: “It’s a joke.” The huge ice block measuring around 500,000 cubic