Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali has secured a fifth term in office by a massive win, near-complete results from the presidential election showed on Monday. According to Reuters, vote tallies from 20 of the country's 26 regions indicated that in two regions Ben Ali won 99 percent of the vote, and in the rest his support did not go below 84 percent, according to figures from the Interior Ministry.
Ben Ali has been in power since 1987.
Tunisia's most prominent opposition figures did not take part in the election. Two of the president's challengers on the ballot rarely criticize him and the third acknowledged during the campaign that he could not win. International human rights groups have claimed that campaigning took place in an atmosphere of repression. The Tunisian leader dismissed the claims, saying the vote would be democratic and accusing his opponents of peddling lies.