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Tunisia Presidential Poll Heading for Run-off


Tunisians voted in the country's first presidential elections since a 2011 pro-democracy uprising, with the two major parties preparing for a run-off poll next month.

Official results had not been announced by early Monday. But the campaign manager for 87-year-old secularist Beji Caid Essebsi said the Nidaa Tounes party candidate had emerged as the frontrunner. Advisers to incumbent rival Moncef Marzouki acknowledged the run-off, without providing details.

The vote marked the long-awaited completion of a transition to democracy that began with the 2011 overthrow of entrenched authoritarian leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. That revolt also sparked uprisings in Egypt, Syria, Yemen and Libya, which collectively became known as the Arab Spring pro-democracy uprisings.

Tunisian secularists won the most seats in parliament in general elections last month.

They are expected to form a government in the near future.

Since the overthrow of Ben Ali's one-party rule, secularist and Islamist parties have largely avoided the turmoil and violence that spread through other Arab Spring countries, and lawmakers have adopted a new constitution.

Material for this report came from AP, AFP, and Reuters.

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