Tunisia voters go to polls in historic free election
Voting has begun in Tunisia in the first free election of the Arab Spring, nine months after the fall of former President Zinedine el Abidine Ben Ali.
Voters will elect a 217-seat assembly that will draft a new constitution and appoint an interim government.
Islamist party Ennahda is expected to win the most votes, though it is not clear if it will gain a majority.
Mr Ben Ali fled Tunisia on 14 January amid the first of several mass uprisings across the Arab world.
Campaigning in Tunisia has been marked by concerns over splits between Islamists and secularists, party funding and voter apathy.
But early indications are that turnout will be high. Many voters emerged from polling stations holding up blue-stained index fingers - proud to show they had cast their ballots.
The mother of Mohamed Bouazizi, the young man whose self-immolation last December triggered the Tunisian revolt, told the Reuters news agency the election was a victory for dignity and freedom.
“Now I am happy that my son’s death has given the chance to get beyond fear and injustice,” Manoubia Bouazizi said. “I’m an optimist, I wish success for my country.”