Tunisians voted Sunday in their first presidential election since its 2011 revolution that sparked the Arab Spring pro-democracy uprisings in other countries in the region.
The vote marked the long-awaited completion of a transition to democracy after Tunisians overthrew long-time authoritarian ruler Zine El Abidine Ben Ali nearly four years ago.
Official results have not been released, but political party monitors were allowed to unofficially tally votes for their candidates. The campaign manager for 87-year-old Beji Caid Essebsi said the political veteran had emerged as the front-runner, but likely would face a run-off contest next month.
Among the more than two dozen candidates, current president, Moncef Marzouki, was also considered a strong challenger.
Since January of 2011, the end of Ben Ali’s one-party rule, Tunisia is seen as having become a model of transition for the region by adopting a new constitution and avoiding much of the turmoil facing its neighbors.
Material for this report came from AP, AFP, and Reuters.