Tunisians elects hung parliament

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Tunisians have elected a hung parliament as most exit polls projected, meaning no party has won an outright majority to form a government on its own.

The moderate Islamist party Ennahda will however be the largest party in parliament with 52 seats, 17 less than its share in the 2014 legislative elections.

Ennahda will need to negotiate a coalition deal with other parties to be able to run the country for the next five years.

A senior official in the party told newsmen that they are open to talks with all parties.

The deal must be based on the principles of “fulfilling the demands of the revolution and fighting corruption”, Jalel Ouerghi said.

The Heart of Tunisia party, led by media tycoon Nabil Karoui, came second with 38 seats, followed by the Democratic Current which garnered 22 seats.

The Dignity Alliance won 21 seats and the Free Constitutional Party, backed by supporters of the late President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, won 17 seats.

Independent parties made significant gains in the election winning 33 seats to become a major power in the new parliament.

It shows that voters are rejecting the mainstream parties, observers say.

Ennahda has been part of several coalition-based governments since the 2011 popular uprising that ousted Ben Ali from power.

But these coalitions have failed to deliver the social and economic promises made to the Tunisian people.

Mr Karoui was released from jail on Wednesday to lead his campaign for the second round of presidential elections scheduled for October 13.

He will face the front runner, Kais Saied, a law professor without party affiliation, but backed by Ennahda.

 

 

Christopher Ojilere