23 October 2011
Last updated at 18:55 ET
Tunisia's election campaign was marked by concerns about the economy, the role of Islamist parties, and voter apathy. However, when polls opened on Sunday, people queued to cast their ballots.
Islamist leader Rachid Ghannouchi showed off his blue-stained finger, proof that he had cast his ballot. His Ennahda party was banned under ousted President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, but is forecast to take the largest share of the votes in this election.
Women - some in headscarves, others with their hair uncovered - were prominent among those waiting to vote. The Ennahda party has promised to protect women's freedoms.
In some places, Tunisians had to wait for hours to cast their ballots. Security forces have been patrolling outside but the EU observer mission said there was "almost no chance of cheating or falsifying results".
For Manoubia Bouazizi, this election is bittersweet: it was the self-immolation of her son Mohamed last December that kickstarted the Arab uprisings.
Voters turn out in Hammam Sousse, a former stronghold of the President Ben Ali who was ousted nine months ago.
Tunisians are acutely aware that they are under the international spotlight. One voter said Tunisia was offering the world "a bouquet of flowers of liberty and dignity".
People still queuing when polling stations closed at 19:00 (18:00 GMT) were allowed to stay and cast their vote.
Electoral commission secretary-general Boubaker Bethabet said more than 90% of the 4.1 million registered citizens had voted.
With the voting over, the counting of ballots begins in the first free elections in Tunisia's history. Results are expected on Monday.