Defeated Tunisia candidate starts new movement

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) ” The defeated candidate in Tunisia’s presidential run-off announced Tuesday a new movement to “prevent the return of despotism.”

Moncef Marzouki told thousands of supporters at his campaign headquarters in a Tunisia suburb that he will create a movement of the people in all the cities of the country to “preserve the future of Tunisia.”

Tunisians elected veteran politician Beji Caid Essebsi as the new president on Sunday after a series of elections that completed the country’s democratic transition following the 2011 revolution.

Essebsi served with Tunisia’s previous presidents and his party includes many old regime officials, prompting fears by some of a return to the country’s more authoritarian past.

Marzouki called on his supporters to organize in a “peaceful and democratic” manner.

Soon after election results were announced Monday, riots erupted in several southern cities, which voted overwhelmingly for Marzouki in a vote that divided on geographic lines.

Interior Ministry spokesman Mohammed Ali Aroui said the situation was stable by Tuesday after policemen used teargas to disperse angry protesters.

Demonstrations erupted in the cities of Gabes, Tataouine, Douz and the Tunis suburb of Kram. Police stations and the headquarters for Essebsi’s party were attacked.