Democracy,  North Africa

Secular party leads in Tunisian elections

Encouraging and worthy of note:

Tunisia’s main secular opposition party was claiming victory on Monday over once-dominant Islamists in the country’s historic parliamentary elections.

Partial results from the official election commission were expected to be released throughout the day Monday, but the Nida Tunis (Tunis Calls) party cited exit polls to say it has won more seats than any other party in the 217-member parliament.

The election, in which 60 percent of Tunisia’s 5.2 million registered voters participated, will produce the nation’s first five-year parliament following the country’s 2011 Arab Spring revolt and has already been widely praised around the world.

“This milestone in Tunisia’s transition to democracy exemplifies why Tunisia remains a beacon of hope, not only to the Tunisian people, but to the region and the world,” said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, following up President Barack Obama’s praise from the day before.

The peaceful and orderly manner in which the elections unfolded on Sunday was also lauded by the European Union, the United Nations and France.

Let’s hope this marks a turning point for Tunisia after years of misrule and abuse of power by the Islamist Ennahda Party.