Ex-Oppn leader Marzouki elected Tunisia`s Prez

Last Updated: Tuesday, December 13, 2011 - 16:30

Tunis: Tunisia`s veteran opposition leader
Moncef Marzouki was elected president today, a month and a half after the north African country held its first post-revolution election.

The fierce opponent of ousted dictator Zine el Abidine
Ben Ali was elected with 153 votes in the 217-member assembly,
with three of the 202 deputies present voting against, two
abstaining and 44 casting blank ballots.

The national anthem played in the assembly as
supporters shouted "Loyalty to the Martyrs of the Revolution"
after the vote was held.

The 66-year-old leader of the Congress for the
Republic Party, dressed in his usual grey suit with a white
shirt but no tie, thanked the assembly, saying he was "proud
to carry the most precious of responsibilities, that of being
the guarantor of the people, the state and the revolution."

Marzouki is to be sworn in Tuesday at the presidential
palace in Carthage.

His first order of business will be to name the prime
minister, with Hamadi Jebali, the number two of the Ennahda
party that came in first in the October 23 legislative poll
with 89 seats, expected to get the nod.

Marzouki`s election came two days after the assembly
adopted a provisional constitution allowing the country to
name a government.

The vote -- 141 in favour, 37 against and 39
abstentions -- came after five days of often tumultuous debate
which saw hundreds of people demonstrating calmly outside the
assembly building shouting slogans demanding "Freedom and
Dignity".

The election of a president and creation of a new
government could take place only once lawmakers adopted the
"mini-constitution", laboriously drawn up over two weeks after
the elections.

PTI




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