Ten months after vegetable seller Mohamed Bouazizi set himself ablaze in a desperate act of protest against poverty and government repression which spurred the Arab Spring uprisings, Tunisians are flocking to the polls to cast a vote to install the first democratic government in their nation’s history. By all accounts, the turnout is large, but the voting is taking place peacefully. Tunisians are dipping their fingers in blue ink to mark the fact that they casted a ballot.
Having been run for decades by French-inspired secularism, Tunisia is expected to usher in a government that embraces a Turkish-inspired Islamic-led democracy. Rached Ghannouchi, the head of the favored Islamic Ennahda party, is pictured below (top left) waving a blue-dyed finger after casting his vote. “I have never thought that I would actually stand in a long line to elect the party I like. I am really grateful for this unique opportunity and long to see more progress,” said one Tunisian school supervisor.