Published On: Sun, Nov 23rd,

TUNISIA Opening of Polling Stations for a Historic Presidential

Polling stations opened their doors on Sunday 23 November in Tunisia for the first presidential free of its history, almost four years after the revolution that launched the Arab Spring, noted journalists from AFP.

Nearly 5.3 million voters to the polls. Twenty-seven candidates are vying for this historic election in which the favorites are Beji Caid Essebsi, 87, whose secular party Nidaa Tounès won parliamentary end of October and the outgoing head of state Moncef Marzouki, a historical opposition to head of the fallen state, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Five contenders included on the ballots have announced their withdrawal from the race at different times of the campaign.

The second political force, the Islamist party Ennahda in late 2011 to early, decided not to support any candidate in this election.

Tunisians from 8h to 18h (7h-17h GMT) to do their civic duty. The electoral body (ISIE) for its part announced the results no later than 26 November.

Early voters voted in the quiet in the first minutes of the vote, dipping their left index finger in indelible ink, a device to prevent multiple voting.

If no candidate obtains an absolute majority, a second round will be held in late December.

This is the first time that the Tunisians will vote freely for their head of state. From independence in 1956 until the 2011 revolution, the country has had only two presidents.

The father of independence Habib Bourguiba was maintained in control of the country by plebiscites before becoming “president for life” in 1975, and Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who overthrew his predecessor November 7, 1987, did not hesitate to falsifying elections during his 23 years as head of Tunisia, before fleeing to Saudi Arabia January 14, 2011.