November 23, 2014 / 6:28 PM / 3 years ago

Tunisia's Essebsi's party says he's ahead in presidential vote count

Beji Caid Essebsi, leader of Tunisia's secular Nidaa Tounes party and a presidential candidate, casts his vote at a polling station in Tunis November 23, 2014. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi

TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisian presidential candidate Beji Caid Essebsi’s campaign manager told reporters he was ahead in Sunday’s election by at least 10 points, according to his own party’s initial results.

Official results have yet to be released by electoral authorities. But Essebsi and rival Moncef Markouzi, the incumbent, were expected to be frontrunners in the first free presidential election since Tunisia’s 2011 uprising.

Political parties have observers at polling stations who act as witnesses to oversee preliminary counts, which allows them to tally results unofficially for their party.

Reporting by Tarek Amara; writing by Patrick Markey

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