A Tunisia's leading statistical and polling institute said on Sunday evening that early results showed the Islamist party Ennahda (Renaissance) won the municipal elections with 27.5 percent of votes.
The ruling party Nidaa Tounes came in the second with 22.5 percent of votes, while the third place secured 14 percent of votes, said Hassan Zargouni, president of Sigma Conseil, in a statement broadcast by Tunisian central television.
"Compared to the last parliamentary and presidential elections in 2014, Nidaa Tounes gave the first position to Ennahda. But these two weights still control the political landscape of the country," Zargouni noted.
About two hours after the closing of the polls, Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed hailed the first municipal elections since the 2011 revolution as being "held under the standards of transparency and freedom."
"It reflects the will of the entire people, and it was a real political challenge," Chahed said in a short speech.
However, the relatively low turnout represents a black spot of the elections.
"The rate of participation is a negative index and will hurt the general picture of these elections," the prime minister said, adding that his government will have to learn from it.
According to the Independent High Authority for Elections (ISIE), the official preliminary results of the municipal elections are scheduled to come out on May 9, while the final ones will be announced no later than June 13, after the appeals are processed.