Secularist Nidaa Tounes party wins Tunisia election

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Nidaa Tounes supporters 28 Oct 2014Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
Nidaa Tounes supporters were celebrating even before official results were announced

Tunisia's secularist party Nidaa Tounes has won 85 seats in the country's parliament following Sunday's elections, official results show.

The governing Islamist Ennahda party won 69 seats in the 217-seat chamber.

The official results confirm earlier predictions and Ennahda officials have already urged Nidaa Tounes to form an inclusive government.

Tunisia's transition to democratic rule after a 2011 revolt has been hailed as a regional success story.

The revolt was the first and least violent of the Arab Spring uprisings against autocratic governments across the region.

Analysis: Naveena Kottoor, Tunis

"In with the old" is what some Tunisians have been saying about Nidaa Tounes, which has a comfortable lead of 85 seats in the new parliament, in reference to the fact that supporters of the regime of deposed President Ben Ali were allowed to join the party and run for office.

But their inclusion has not been without controversy and the party will still need to find coalition partners to be able to govern.

Meanwhile, the political Islamist Ennahda party and their secular coalition partners have been punished by voters for their three years in government.

Despite the political progress and the international praise, many Tunisians - especially those who are younger and from poorer parts of the country - have been feeling neglected and forgotten by those in the capital - and simply did not vote on Sunday.

The parliamentary poll was the second such election since the uprising.

Tunisia's secularists and Islamists have managed the transition to democracy with less acrimony and bloodshed than their neighbours, correspondents say.

The country nevertheless faces a persistent low-level threat from militants.

Around five million Tunisians were registered to cast their ballot.