The moderate Islamist Ennahda party was officially declared winner of Tunisia’s election, setting it up to form an Islamist-led government. Ennahda has tried to reassure secularists nervous about the prospect of Islamist rule in one of the Arab world’s most liberal countries by saying it will respect women’s rights and not try to impose a Muslim moral code on society.
“We will continue this revolution to realise its aims of a Tunisia that is free, independent, developing and prosperous in which the rights of God, the Prophet, women, men, the religious and the non-religious are assured because Tunisia is for everyone,” Ennahda leader Rachid Ghannouchi told a crowd of cheering supporters.
Announcing the results, election commission members said Ennahda had won 90 seats in the 217-seat assembly, which will draft a new constitution, form an interim government and schedule new elections, probably for early 2013. The Islamists’ nearest rival, the secularist Congress for the Republic, won 30 seats, the commission members told a packed hall in the capital, ending a four-day wait since Sunday’s poll for the painstaking count to be completed.