Tunis: Tunisian voters on Saturday weighed their choices on the eve of the Arab Spring's historic first elections nine months after the surprise toppling of strongman Zine el Abidine Ben Ali that started it all.
    
Campaigning ended at midnight for the vote the previously banned Islamist Ennahda party is tipped to win, with the ISIE independent polling commission reminding candidates and journalists that on Saturday would be an "election silence day".
    
"Any overstepping or breach ... amounts to an electoral crime punishable by law," it warned in a statement.
    
On Sunday, Tunisia's 7.2 million eligible voters have been called to elect a 217-member Assembly that will rewrite the constitution after two decades under Ben Ali.
    
The seemingly entrenched dictator was forced to flee to Saudi Arabia in January, a month into a leaderless uprising driven by social injustice, poverty and corruption.
    
The assembly will also have the loaded task of appointing an interim president and a caretaker government that will remain in place for the duration of the drafting process, expected to take a year.
    
Voters will choose from 11,686 candidates on 1,517 lists -- 828 for political parties, 655 for independents and 34 for party coalitions.
    
Political party volunteers swarmed the streets of Tunis on the last day of campaigning on Friday, handing out flyers in a festive atmosphere as thousands flocked to an Ennahda rally in a poorer suburb.
    
"We will recognise the results of the elections, we will congratulate the winners, no matter Ennahda's score," party leader Rached Ghannouchi told supporters, adding: "To date, the campaign has been acceptable."

(Agencies)