Tunisians gather to celebrate results of the first free presidential election in which Beji Caid Essebsi claimed victory. Nathan Frandino reports.
The official results are in. Tunisia has a new president. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PRESIDENT OF TUNISIA'S INDEPENDENT HIGHER ELECTION AUTHORITY, MOHAMED CHAFIK SARSAR, SAYING: "The election authority announces the victory of the candidate Mr. Beji Caid Essebsi in the presidential elections for the year 2014." In the country's first free presidential election, Essebsi beat out the incumbent whose government many voters blamed for the turmoil after the 2011 revolt. Outside, at Essebsi's Call for Tunisia party headquarters, celebrations ensue under a banner that reads "Long Live Tunisia." (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) BEJI CAID ESSEBSI SUPPORTER, AYA KHIARI, SAYING: "As a young Tunisian who took part in the revolution - we succeeded to achieve part of our struggle. This is a social model. With regards to a social project, we have won the battle, but we still need to rebuild Tunisia." Critics of Essebsi, a former official in the Ben Ali government ousted in 2011, see his return as a setback. But he argues that he's the technocrat needed following three messy years of the Islamist-led coalition government.