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Tunisia awaits election results as main anti-Islamist party claims big win

  • Rachid Ghannouchi, leader of the Tunisian moderate Islamist Ennahda Party, holds up his ink stained finger after voting at a polling station in Ben Arous, Tunisia, Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014. Tunisians expressed tentative hope for the future as they lined up early Sunday to choose their first five-year parliament since they overthrew their dictator in the 2011 revolution that kicked off the Arab Spring. (AP Photo/Aimen Zine)

    Rachid Ghannouchi, leader of the Tunisian moderate Islamist Ennahda Party, holds up his ink stained finger after voting at a polling station in Ben Arous, Tunisia, Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014. Tunisians expressed tentative hope for the future as they lined up early Sunday to choose their first five-year parliament since they overthrew their dictator in the 2011 revolution that kicked off the Arab Spring. (AP Photo/Aimen Zine)  (The Associated Press)

  • Civil servants discuss at results from the Tunis region parliamentary elections in a Tunis voting center, Monday, Oct. 27, 2014. Tunisia's main secular opposition party was claiming victory on Monday over once-dominant Islamists in the country's historic parliamentary elections. (AP Photo/Hassene Dridi)

    Civil servants discuss at results from the Tunis region parliamentary elections in a Tunis voting center, Monday, Oct. 27, 2014. Tunisia's main secular opposition party was claiming victory on Monday over once-dominant Islamists in the country's historic parliamentary elections. (AP Photo/Hassene Dridi)  (The Associated Press)

  • Results from the Tunis region parliamentary elections are pictured in a Tunis voting center, Monday, Oct. 27, 2014. Tunisia's main secular opposition party was claiming victory on Monday over once-dominant Islamists in the country's historic parliamentary elections. (AP Photo/Hassene Dridi)

    Results from the Tunis region parliamentary elections are pictured in a Tunis voting center, Monday, Oct. 27, 2014. Tunisia's main secular opposition party was claiming victory on Monday over once-dominant Islamists in the country's historic parliamentary elections. (AP Photo/Hassene Dridi)  (The Associated Press)

Tunisia's main secular opposition party is claiming a big victory in the country's historic election over the once dominant Islamists.

Partial results from the official election commission are expected to be released throughout the day Monday, but the Nida Tunis (Tunis Calls) party has cited exit polls to say it has won around 80 seats, more than any other party in the 217-member parliament.

The election will produce the nation's first five-year parliament following the country's 2011 Arab Spring revolt.

Nida Tunis includes businessmen, trade unionists and many politicians from the deposed dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's government.

It focused its campaign on defeating the moderate Islamist Ennahda Party, which governed Tunisia through a turbulent period marked by economic problems and rising extremism.