INTERNATIONAL. Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today that the outcome of the election for the constitutional assembly in the Republic of Tunisia has no immediate effect on the sovereign rating on Tunisia, and on the rating on the Central Bank of Tunisia (both BBB-/Negative/A-3).
We note that these elections, which were held on October 23, 2011, with more than 100 political parties, were the first since former president Ben Ali fled the country in January during the Jasmine revolution.
We also note that voter participation was extremely high, at about 90%. We understand that the constitutional assembly will nominate a president, designate an interim government, and draft a new constitution within a year. It is our understanding that elections for the institutions newly created by the constitution would not take place before end-2012.
Election results indicate that the Islamist party, Ennhada, garnered 41.5% of votes and 90 seats. The secularist Congress for the Republic won 13.8% of the vote and 30 seats, Ettakatol won 21 seats, the Popular List 19, and the Progressive Democratic Party 17 seats.
The remaining 30 seats went to several smaller parties or independent lists. Ennhada has announced that coalition talks are underway and that it would form a government within 10 days.
The composition of the new government is not, in itself, a rating factor for Standard & Poor's. Our focus is on whether the new government will support the economic recovery by taking medium-term policy measures and pursuing structural reforms while maintaining macroeconomic stability.