Ban hails landmark Tunisia vote
UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Monday congratulated Tunisians on the peaceful conduct of their first-ever free election, describing the historic vote as a key development for the region.
The United Nations secretary general praised the interim authorities that took over after dictator Zine el Abidine Ben Ali's shock ouster in January for organising Sunday's poll in "a peaceful and orderly manner."
"This landmark election constitutes a key step in the democratic transition of the country and a significant development in the overall democratic transformation in North Africa and the Middle East," Ban said in a statement.
Tunisia on Sunday voted for a constituent assembly which will be tasked with writing a new constitution and charting the country's post-revolution future.
The vote, a first taste of democracy for most Tunisians, was marked by huge turnout.
Ben Ali was one of the world's most entrenched dictators and Tunisia's popular uprising triggered the Arab Spring, a wave of popular protests demanding more democracy and regime change.
© 2011 AFP