Many were sure their votes would change Tunisia for the better, regardless of who won, and some predicted an almost magical transformation. “There is going to be social justice, freedom, democracy, and they are going to tackle the unemployment issue,” said Mohamed Fezai, an unemployed 30-year-old college graduate.
“Today is the day of independence,” said Amin Ganhouba, 30, a technician. “Today we got our freedom, and our dignity, from the simple act of voting.”
At least one woman celebrated a vote she cast at random. Fatima Toumi, 52, an illiterate housewife, said, beaming with pride, that she had done her civic duty but did not know which party’s box she had checked. “Whatever I pick doesn’t matter,” she said. “I hope it will improve the situation of Tunisia’s youth.”Tunisia’s moderate Islamist party, Ennahda, was widely expected to win at least a plurality of the vote, and its founder, Rachid Ghannouchi, declared last week that it would win a majority. Many voters said that in the final days of the campaign the essential choice came down to a vote for Ennahda or against it.