Islamists Claim Victory in Tunisia Vote

Once-banned party Ennahda leading in many constituencies
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2011 1:18 PM CDT
Updated Oct 24, 2011 6:43 PM CDT
Rachid Ghannouchi, the leader of Tunisia's main Islamist party Ennahda, shows off his ink-stained finger after voting in Menzeh near Tunis, Sunday Oct. 23, 2011.   (AP Photo/Amine Landoulsi)
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(Newser) – A moderate Islamist party has claimed victory in Tunisian elections today with at least 30% of the vote, the AP reports. If they win, the Ennahda party will guide the nation's 217-seat constituent assembly in choosing a new government and writing a new constitution. More than 90% of registered voters turned out to participate in the fledgling democracy's first election. Most analysts predicted an Ennahda victory today.

There are concerns that Ennahda would roll back some of Tunisia’s progressive legislation related to women and families. But Ennahda, which believes the country’s political system and laws should be based on Islam, insists it will protect women’s rights and is willing to work with other parties to form a broad-based coalition. Click for more on the elections. In related news, Libya’s transitional leader announced yesterday that the country will be governed by Islamic Sharia law.

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