World News Brief, Wednesday October 26

Moderate Islamists hint at unity coalition after winning Tunisia elections (+ analysis and al-Nahda profile); Qaddafi's body buried in desert; New data suggests eurozone falling into recession; Italy fails to settle welfare reform; Suu Kyi says more reform needed in Burma; and more

Top of the Agenda: Moderate Islamists Claim Victory in Tunisia

The moderate Islamist party al-Nahda said it won over 40 percent (al-Jazeera) of seats in Tunisia's constituent assembly in the country's first democratic elections since revolutionaries forced former president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali from power late last year.

Al-Nahda's main rival, the secular centre-left Progressive Democratic Party admitted defeat (BBC) on Monday. However, al-Nahda indicated that it would likely form a coalition (NYT) with two other liberal parties that fared well in the elections.

Ninety percent of Tunisians turned out for Sunday's vote for an assembly tasked with drafting a new constitution (Reuters) within one year. The assembly will also appoint an interim president to run the country until new elections are held at the end of next year or in early 2013.


The BBC offers a profile of Tunisia's Islamist al-Nahda party.

Tunisia's elections show that democracy can work for Islamist political parties, writes Christian Lowe in this Reuters analysis.

In his blog, Middle East Matters, CFR's Robert Danin says that events in Tunisia will resonate beyond its borders, with the entire Arab world watching.

Tunisians triggered the first of the Arab world upheavals, but can they sustain support for democratic changes? In this CFR Expert Brief, CFR's Victoria Taylor says the elections for a constitutional assembly will test Tunisia's political maturity.

This CFR Issue Guide provides expert analysis and essential background on some of the central issues facing Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria, and Yemen, as the Arab Spring enters a critical new phase.



Philippine Military Bombs Rebels

The Philippine military carried out airstrikes in the south of the country on separatist rebels from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (BBC). The group is considered responsible for an ambush last week that killed nineteen Philippine soldiers.

BURMA: Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi applauded the military-backed government of President Thein Sein for implementing the most substantive democratic reforms (WSJ) in decades, but cautioned that more changes are needed before the West can ease economic sanctions.



Qaddafi's body buried in the desert

Is eurozone in recession as well?

Italy fails to agree reforms ahead of summit


This is an excerpt of the Daily News Brief. The full version is available on