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Tunisia passes landmark law on elections

TUNIS, Tunisia -- Tunisian lawmakers have adopted a sweeping new electoral law that paves the way for general elections later this year and is a milestone in this country's new democracy.

The law requires party lists for legislative elections to be half women and half men. It also allows members of the authoritarian regime ousted in 2011 to run for office.

The elections are now expected no later than Nov. 23.

The members of the National Constituent Assembly approved the law Thursday after weeks of heated debate over its 270 articles. The overall law was approved 132-11 with nine abstentions.

Tunisia's path to democracy has been rocky but is seen as a model for other countries, after street protests overthrew a dictator and unleashed uprisings across the region known as the Arab Spring.

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