Beji Caid Essebsi, an 88 year old former cabinet minister, has won Tunisia’s first free and democratic presidential election. His victory was announced by Tunisia’s election commission this Monday. Mr. Essebsis’s opponent Mr. Marzouki conceded defeat using Facebook and congratulated him for his victory. Mr. Marzouki also appeared on national television confirming that he would not be contesting the results of the election and appealing for calm as violence broke out in several towns in Tunisia.
Mr. Essebsi is a member of the anti-Islamist Nidaa Tounes party. He made most of his victories in the North while his opponent Mr. Marzouki made strong gains in his native south, which is considered poor and the most marginalized area of the nation.
Violence across the south has been met with police response using tear gas. A protest group based in the south called “Takriz” issued a statement saying that wanted another revolution to divide Southern Tunisia from the rest of the country.
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