26 Oct 2011

Victory claimed in Tunisia

10:33 pm on 26 October 2011

The Islamist party in Tunisia, Ennahda, is having coalition talks with two left-wing secular parties as official results are declared in the country's first free elections since the toppling of President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali in a popular uprising in January.

The electoral commission has confirmed Ennahda is well ahead in the vote, but is not expected to have an overall majority.

The BBC reports Ennahda is already in coalition talks with two secular parties.

Ten months ago, Ennahda had to operate underground because of a government ban and hundreds of its members were in prison.

The election is for an assembly that will sit for one year to draft a new constitution.

It will also appoint a new interim president and government to run the country until new elections late next year or early in 2013.