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Tunisians pack polling stations

Sunday, October 23, 2011 - 01:29

Oct.23 - People across the country turn out for Tunisia's first elections since the country's long-time president was overthrown in January. Andrew Raven reports.

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Democracy in action in Tunisia. People across the country pack into polling stations to vote in the first elections since long-time dictator Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali was deposed in January. Among those to cast a ballot was Rachid Ghannouchi, the head of Tunisia's main Islamist party, Ennahada. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) HEAD OF TUNISIA'S MAIN ISLAMIST ENNAHDA PARTY, RACHID GHANNOUCHI, SAYING: "Tunis was born again today, the Arab spring is born again today not in a negative way of toppling dictators but in a positive way of building democratic systems, a representative system which represents the people." Tunisians were electing members of an assembly who will be charged with drafting a constitution ahead of eventual elections for parliament and the presidency. Many brandished fingers stained with ink, a sign they had already cast a ballot. (SOUNDBITE) (French) LOCAL RESIDENT, BASHIR SELMI, SAYING: "This is an extraordinary day, we are very proud, we feel free, I think this is the beginning of an extraordinary life for us and for our children." Ennahda, which is feared by many secularists, is expected to gain the biggest share of votes - but not enough for an outright majority in the assembly. Andrew Raven, Reuters.

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Tunisians pack polling stations

Sunday, October 23, 2011 - 01:29