Millions of Tunisians have cast their ballots to directly elect their president for the first time since the revolution four years ago that swept away longtime leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Sunday’s election was a contest among stalwarts of the deposed regime, members of the once-outlawed parties, as well as a new breed of politicians that has emerged since the 2011 revolution.

Tunisia’s high election authority said 64.6 percent of the registered voters turned out to cast their ballot.

Al Jazeera’s Omar Al Saleh reporting from the capital, Tunis, said that the two main candidates claim they won the elections.

“Both candidates however, do agree that there is a need for a second round and that is expected to take place in December,” Saleh said.

At a polling centre at 18 Rue de L’Inde in Lafayette district in Tunis’ business district, the voting process was progressing smoothly shortly after polls opened at 8am local time (07:00 GMT).

“As you can see it is a very smooth and calm operation. So far things have been going very well,” Noureddine Jouini, the electoral officer in charge of the polling station, told Al Jazeera.

“Last time in the legislative elections there were a couple of people who couldn’t find their names on the lists even though they had registered. This time the lists have been updated and we have not received any complaints regarding that issue. The youth voter turnout is very low like in the legislative.”

Mohamed Khlil, 78, a retired state official, was among the first to vote at 18 Rue de L’Inde.

“I came to vote because it’s my country’s fate that we are deciding. I am very happy to be able to vote and make my voice heard,” Khlil told Al Jazeera after casting his vote… see more

source: America Aljazeera