SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)- Tunisia’s new parliament has held its inaugural session, marking the North African country’s first national assembly meeting since the 2011 ouster of former dictator, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
On Tuesday, Mustapha Ben Jaffar, speaker of the National Constituent Assembly, opened the session of the of 217-member assembly elected in October with national anthem being played.
“Tunisia has managed to secure a peaceful power transfer in a fluid and civilized manner that will ensure the gradual introduction of democratic traditions,” he said.
Tunisia’s secular Nidaa Tounes party won 85 seats in the country’s parliament following October 26 elections, giving it the right to name a prime minister and lead a coalition government.
The ruling Ennahda party won 69 seats in the 217-seat chamber, representing a loss of some 23 seats.
The Free Patriotic Union of Slim Riahi, a millionaire football club owner and political neophyte, came third with 16 seats.
Nearly 60 percent of the 5.2 million registered voters participated in the Tunisian parliamentary elections.
The event marked an important step toward the realization of democracy in the country following Ben Ali’s ouster, which kicked off popular uprisings across the Middle East and North Africa.