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AFRICA
22 October 2011 Last updated at 19:34 ET
Tunisia to vote in historic election
The moderate Islamists of Ennahda are the frontrunners in the election
Tunisia turmoil
Q&A: Tunisia elections
Broken dreams
Doubts about martyr
Hunting Ben Ali's treasure
Tunisians are set to vote in the first free election of the Arab Spring, nine months after the fall of former President Zinedine el Abidine Ben Ali.
They will elect a 217-seat assembly that will draft a new constitution and appoint an interim government.
Islamist party Ennahda is expected to win the most votes, though it is not clear if it will gain a majority.
Mr Ben Ali fled Tunisia on 14 January amid the first of several mass uprisings across the Arab world.
Campaigning in Tunisia has been marked by concerns over splits between Islamists and secularists, party funding and voter apathy.
But correspondents reported widespread optimism and excitement as the campaign season drew to a close on Friday.
Ennahda, a moderate Islamist party, has sought to allay the fears of Tunisian secularists by stating its commitment to democracy and women's rights.
Tunisia poll at a glance
First election since Arab Spring
More than 100 parties contesting poll
Voters electing 217-member Constituent Assembly (CA) to write constitution and choose prime minister
CA expected to have highest female representation in Arab world
Election organised under proportional representation system
3.8 million registered voters
Non-registered voters with ID cards entitled to vote
Tunisians in some foreign countries given the vote
Islamist Ennahda party expected to get most votes
Its closest challenger is expected to be the secular, centrist Progressive Democratic Party (PDP).
There are more than seven million people of voting age. More than 100 parties have registered to participate, along with a number of independent lists.
Hundreds of foreign election observers and thousands of local ones will be monitoring the poll.
The EU observer mission has said that the overall campaign has been transparent.
Polls are due to open at 07:00 (06:00 GMT) on Sunday and close at 19:00, and results are expected by Monday.
The new assembly is expected to draft a new constitution within a year.
More on This Story
Tunisia turmoil
Key stories
Q&A: Tunisia elections
A guide to the first election to result from the "Arab Spring" pro-democracy protests
Broken dreams
Doubts about martyr
Hunting Ben Ali's treasure
'Speakers' corner'
Q&A: Tunisia crisis
Key players now
Memories of a martyr
Will returnees re-ignite revolt?
Dilemmas of transition
Journalists savour liberty
How cyber war fuels the protests
Background
Timeline
Tunisia profile
From other news sites
Bangkok Post*
Tunisians gear up for historic vote
15 hrs ago
Financial Times*
International eyes on Tunisian election
33 hrs ago
About these results
* May require registration or subscription
Related Internet links
Guide to political parties (in French)Monitoring organizations (in Arabic)
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites
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