Supporters of Tunisia’s Ennahda party gather in the streets of the capital Tunis on Sunday night to celebrate an apparent parliamentary plurality. (Anis Mili/AFP via Getty Images)

Tunisia in for Tough Coalition Talks following Parliamentary Election

Exit polls show that neither of Tunisia’s two main parties will gain more than a fifth of the seats in parliament following a day of elections plagued by low voter turnout. The polls show the moderate Islamist Ennahda party with 17.5 percent of the vote, and the Heart of Tunisia party – led by a jailed media mogul – with 15.6%. Official figures indicate that only 41% of eligible voters participated in the Sunday election. The low figures mean the country will probably see a lot of wheeling and dealing in order to form a government that can begin addressing Tunisia’s high levels of inflation, unemployment and foreign debt, as both the leading parties have said they will not sit together in a coalition. Supporters of Ennahda were nevertheless jubilant with the exit poll results, filling the streets on Sunday night with cheering people and lines of cars with honking horns. Voters return to their polling places next Sunday for the second round of elections for president.

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