Heart of Tunisia party claims victory in parliamentary election

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Supporters of Tunisia’s moderate Islamist Ennahda party celebrate, after the party gained most votes in Sunday’s parliamentary election, according to an exit poll by Sigma Conseil broadcasted by state television, in Tunis, Tunisia Oct. 6, 2019. (Reuters)
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Election officials start counting marked ballots after polling stations closed during a parliamentary election in Tunis, Tunisia, Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019. (AP)
Updated 06 October 2019

Heart of Tunisia party claims victory in parliamentary election

  • Ennahdha also claimed that it had won
  • Preliminary official results are not expected until Wednesday

TUNIS: The detained Tunisian presidential candidate Nabil Karoui said in a statement that his Heart of Tunisia party had come first in Sunday’s parliamentary election, without saying where the information came from.

Polling stations for the seven-million-strong electorate closed at 6:00 pm (1700 GMT). Ennahdha and Qalb Tounes (Heart of Tunisia) -- led by detained business tycoon Karoui -- were both swift to claim victory.

Two exit polls after the close of voting showed Ennahdha in the lead with 40 seats out of 217, while Qalb Tounes was in second, with one pollster giving it 35 seats, and another 33.

However, preliminary official results are not expected until Wednesday.

In the runup to the legislative vote, Ennahdha and Qalb Tounes officially ruled out forming an alliance, and with a plethora of parties and movements running, the stage could be set for complex and rowdy negotiations -- or even a second poll.

The legislative vote comes after candidates aligned with traditional political parties were eclipsed by independent runners during the first round of presidential polls last month.

"According to preliminary results collected at voting stations, Qalb Tounes has come first", party spokesman Hatem Mliki said.

But its main rival Ennahdha also claimed that it had "according to preliminary results... won the elections."

In the first round of the presidential vote Karoui, held since August on money-laundering charges, came second behind Kais Saied, an independent law professor.

Courts rejected several appeals for his release during campaigning.

 


Turkey plans to resume flights with 40 countries in June

Updated 26 min 21 sec ago

Turkey plans to resume flights with 40 countries in June

  • Turkey largely sealed off its borders as part of measures to contain the coronavirus outbreak
  • Domestic flights resumed on Monday to some provinces

ANKARA: Turkey plans to resume flights with around 40 countries in June and has reached preliminary agreements for reciprocal air travel with 15 countries, Transport Minister Adil Karaismailoglu said on Thursday.
Turkey largely sealed off its borders as part of measures to contain the coronavirus outbreak. Domestic flights resumed on Monday to some provinces as Ankara eased restrictions after a significant drop in infection rates.
Karaismailoglu said flights would resume in five stages in June, adding Turkey was in talks with 92 countries on resuming flights in a safe manner.
“We believe that we have left behind an important point in the battle against the virus globally. Now, we have to continue our global ties and trade,” he said in a written statement.
Flights to Northern Cyprus, Bahrain, Bulgaria, Qatar and Greece will resume on June 10, he said. Flights to 17 destinations, including Germany, Austria, Croatia, and Singapore will restart on June 15. Flights to a further 16 countries will begin on June 20, 22 and 25, including to South Korea, Qatar, the Netherlands, Norway and Belgium, he added.
The 15 countries with which Ankara has reached a preliminary agreement to resume reciprocal flights include Italy, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, Albania, Belarus, Jordan and Morocco.
Germany said on Wednesday it was talking to Ankara about reviewing travel restrictions but was awaiting a recommendation from the European Union.
The virus has killed 4,609 people in Turkey, with more than 165,000 infections so far.