BRUSSELS, Oct. 27 (UPI) -- Europe's top foreign policy chief hailed the Tunisian elections as a historic regional achievement, adding Brussels was considering a release of frozen assets.
Moderate Islamist party Ennahda, which means "renaissance" in Arabic, took the plurality of the weekend vote with more than 40 percent. The party gets the opportunity to lead a 217-member assembly tasked with ushering in a new post-revolution government in Tunisia.
"I say that it was an extremely important thing for the Tunisian citizen to go to the ballot boxes to elect his future leaders," she said.
Skeptics expressed concern that Ennahda, banned during the 1989 elections, would usher in a theocracy that would curb many political freedoms yearned for during the so-called Arab Spring. The group said it was seeking a moderate Islamic state similar to Turkey.
Ashton added that a European team was in Tunis exploring financial options for the country.
"We say the European Union is ready to return the frozen assets and funds to the Tunisian people" she said.
The EU froze the assets of ousted Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali shortly after a December protest suicide sparked the country's Jasmine Revolution, the first in a series of upheavals in the Middle East and North Africa.