Tunisia’s first parliamentary election since the Arab Spring revolution of 2011 was transparent and credible, the head of the EU observer mission said on Tuesday. “The Tunisian people have reinforced their commitment to democracy with credible and transparent elections that gave Tunisians of all political tendencies a free vote,” Annemie Neyts-Uytterbroeck told a news conference. “Polling day passed off in a calm and orderly fashion. Everything was really very normal,” she said. “The campaign generally went smoothly. Freedom of expression and assembly were respected.”
There had been fears of violence by Islamist militant groups as voters went to the polls on Sunday, and about 80,000 troops were deployed to provide security.
A policeman and six suspected militants were killed when police besieged then stormed a house in a Tunis suburb late last week.
Tunisia’s Islamist Ennahda party on Monday conceded defeat to the secular Nidaa Tounes (Call of Tunisia) party in the country’s historic elections and called for a coalition government.