A bloody two-day siege at a house in the outskirts of the capital last week didn’t augur well for Tunisia’s landmark elections.
Six suspected jihadists, including five women, and a policeman were killed in the standoff in Tunis. A small child was also critically injured in the crossfire, which came amid repeated warnings by the authorities of Islamist attacks aimed at disrupting last Sunday’s vote.
But sanity prevailed at the polls. With a turnout of more than 60 per cent, Tunisians queued to take part in their first elections under a new constitution, sending out a strong message of hope. And so began a new chapter in the remarkable story of a small country that has kept the aspirations of the Arab uprisings alive.