Tunisia’s mohammedans suffer election defeat

After Tunisia’s Islamist party Ennahda conceded defeat in Sunday’s parliamentary elections, there were no fireworks, concerts or cheering rallies outside the headquarters of its rival, the secular Nidaa Tounes alliance.

Instead it was Ennahda’s leader Rached Ghannounchi who appeared before jubilant supporters to give what looked more like a victory address than a concession speech.

Ennahda’s defeat was a blow to the first Islamist party to come to power after the Arab Spring revolts of 2011, and Ghannounchi may have been putting on a brave face after a loss attributed to his party’s performance in government.

But Nidaa Tounes’ subdued celebration says more about the complicated task the secularists face in forming a government with Islamists firmly entrenched in Tunisia’s young democracy after the overthrow of the autocratic Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali.

via Reuters: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/30/us-tunisia-election-idUSKBN0IJ1LP20141030