Oct. 25 - Many Tunisians welcome the news that a moderate Islamist party appears set to take the lion's share of votes in the first of the ''Arab Spring'' elections. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
In the birthplace of the "Arab Spring" -- Tunisians welcome the news that a moderate Islamist party appears to have prevailed in the country's first democratic elections. While the final final results are still not in, the Ennahda party says it has won more than 40 percent of the seats -- and is preparing to lead a coalition government. SOUNDBITE: Local resident, saying (Arabic): "As a Tunisian citizen, I think they deserve the win, because to be honest we don't trust any other party, we voted for Ennahda because they fear God and we hope they will live up to expectations." Seeking to reassure secularists in Tunisia and elsewhere who see a threat to their liberal, modernist values, party officials said they would bring two secularist parties into a broad interim coalition that will govern the country. One man is asked whether he is worried about a new era of strict Islamist rule. SOUNDBITE: Local resident, saying (Arabic): "I don't think so, Tunisians are educated and cultured, they won't let them cross the line." Sunday's vote -- the first of the "Arab Spring" polls -- was for an assembly which will sit for one year to draft a new constitution. It will also appoint a new interim president and government to run the country until fresh elections late next year or early in 2013. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters.