Rights activist and former opposition leader Moncef Marzouki on Monday was elected as Tunisia’s first president since its recent revolution. “I am proud to carry the most precious of responsibilities, that of being the guarantor of the people, the state and the revolution,” said the 66-year-old Marzouki.
Marzouki was elected with 153 votes in the 217-member constituent assembly, with three of the 202 deputies present voting against, two abstaining and 44 opposition members casting blank ballots.
Addressing the opposition, Marzouki said: “I have received your message that you will be keeping an eye on me.”
Among those who voted against Marzouki was Samir Betaieb of the left-wing Democratic Modernist Pole. “This election took place on the basis of an unbalanced text that gives a lot of power to a designated head of government at the expense of an elected president,” he told AFP.
The election comes 11 months after the ouster of Zine el Abidine Ben Ali. Marzouki’s election came two days after the assembly adopted a provisional constitution allowing the country to name a government.