Tunisian Islamist Ennahdha Party founder and leader Rached Ghannouchi speaks during a press conference in Tunis on October 30, 2014. AFP PHOTO / FETHI BELAID
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After Tunisia's Islamist party Ennahda conceded defeat in Sunday's parliamentary elections, there were no fireworks, concerts or cheering rallies outside the headquarters of its rival, the secular Nidaa Tounes alliance.Its choice of partners and how it deals with Ennahda may determine Tunisia's next steps.Allying with secular parties gets a majority, but excluding a powerful rival like Ennahda may undermine Tunisia's compromise-style politics and lead to deadlock.With a presidential election next month – Essebsi is a leading candidate – getting too close to Ennahda also risks alienating voters who crossed the line to vote for Nidaa Tounes as a way to punish Islamists for their messy two years in power.Ennahda won the first post-Ben Ali free election to form a coalition government.Ennahda had been in a better position when it came to government after the first election, but they went into coalition with two smaller secular partners.Ennahda has urged Nidaa Tounes to form a unity government to help finish Tunisia's transition.
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