Tuesday, October 27, 2009 

Tunisian President in Fifth Win (BBC)

Tunisia’s leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali has secured a landslide victory in the presidential election, gaining almost 90% of the votes.

Official figures say 84% of the country’s voters turned out for the presidential and legislative polls.

The president-elect has won another five-year mandate.

The head of the African Union observer delegation, Benjamin Boungolous, described Sunday’s election as free and fair, but opposition groups cried foul.

They said there was no genuine freedom of choice during the election.

The president’s ruling party the Constitutional Democratic Rally (RCD) also held on to the vast majority of seats in the Chamber of Deputies.

The RCD won 161 seats out of 214 available.

Mr Ben Ali has been in power for 23 years and this was his fifth election.

The BBC’s Rana Jawad in Tunis says the only suspense in Tunisian elections lies in what percentage of the vote is declared in favour of Mr Ben Ali.

She says the only shock may well be that it was the first time he has won less than 94% of the vote.

Results in 2004 gave him nearly 95%.