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AP Interview: Tunisia ready for elections
AP Interview: Tunisia ready for first elections on Oct. 23, over 100 parties contesting seats
By The Associated Press

UNITED NATIONS (AP) ' Tunisia's foreign minister says the government is ready for Oct. 23 elections, the first since a rebellion overthrew the country's long-serving dictator, and that more than 100 parties will be contesting seats in parliament.

Mouldi Kefi expressed hope in an Associated Press interview Tuesday that Tunisians anxious for democracy would put aside their "egocentric" demands, protests and strikes and focus on the best interests of the country.

Tunisians sparked off the unprecedented wave of pro-democracy uprisings across the Arab world by overthrowing President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January.

The elections "will be really a landmark in the modern history of Tunisia," said Kefi. "It (is) probably going to be bellweather model for the others if the Tunisian experience takes root and succeeds."

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