The European Union on Thursday lauded the Libyan authorities for conducting the recent parliamentary elections in a transparent as well as orderly manner, and congratulated the Libyan people on their “peaceful and dignified” march towards democracy. In a statement released after the announcement of the preliminary results for the election of the Libyan National Congress, EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton hailed Libya’s election commission for conducting the electoral process in a professional manner. She said the EU Electoral Assessment Team (EU EAT) had assessed that processing of results at the tally center in Tripoli had been transparent and fully open to observation.
Articles about voting issues in Libya.
Thirty-three women have been elected to serve in Libya’s General National Congress in the first free elections since a NATO-backed revolt last year toppled the regime and the death of Moammar Gadhafi. Libya’s electoral commission unveiled results on Tuesday, ten days after the vote. The last time Libyans went to the polls was almost half a century ago under the late-monarch King Idriss, who Gadhafi toppled in a bloodless coup in 1969. The North African nation held parliamentary elections in 1964 and then again in 1965 but parties were banned. “This is a very good starting point: 32 women elected with the parties and one independent,” said Samira Massoud, acting president of the Libyan Women’s Union, a growing national organization with membership in the thousands. The tally gives women 16.5 percent representation in the 200-member transitional authority.
Results from Libya’s first elections after the overthrow of Col Gaddafi have shown gains for an alliance of parties seen as broadly liberal. The National Forces Alliance, led by ex-interim Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril, has won 39 out of 80 seats reserved for political parties. The Muslim Brotherhood’s party has gained 17.The 200-member National Assembly will also include dozens of independent candidates. The overall orientation that the assembly will have is therefore unclear. What remains to be seen is who, if anyone, will lead the assembly by majority, the BBC’s Rana Jawad in Tripoli reports. That will depend on the allegiances of 120 independent candidates, which are largely unknown, she adds. While congratulating other parties, the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Justice and Construction Party said it had made gains in seats reserved for independent members.They may now be banking on a shift in their favour from the non-party lists, our correspondent adds.
Officials have begun recounting votes and tallying absentee ballots in elections in Libya. Meanwhile, a rights group says militias still hold 5,000 detainees, despite a deadline to transfer prisoners for trial. Libya’s election commission has announced that it is also reviewing appeals lodged by candidates after the release of partial results over the past week. The full results of Libya’s first free nationwide vote, on July 7, had been expected as early as Saturday. Now, the election commission chief says the full official results may finally be announced on Monday.
Libya’s wartime prime minister Mahmoud Jibril extended his lead in landmark elections, vote tallies showed on Wednesday, but Islamist rivals predicted their score would be boosted by allied independent candidates. Jibril’s National Forces Alliance headed for a landslide win in the eastern district covering the towns of Tobruk and Derna, seen as a hardline Islamist stronghold, suggesting his support was broader than urban areas such as the capital Tripoli. However Western-educated Jibril’s gains do not automatically translate into dominance of the 200-seat national assembly which is set to choose a prime minister and cabinet before setting the stage for full parliamentary elections in 2013.
Wartime rebel prime minister Mahmoud Jibril took an early lead in Libya’s national assembly election, according to partial tallies released on Monday that pointed to a weaker than expected showing for Islamist parties. If confirmed that trend would set Libya apart from other Arab Spring countries such as Egypt and Tunisia where groups with overtly religious agendas have done well – although Jibril insists his multi-party alliance is neither secular nor liberal and includes sharia Islamic law among its core values. Saturday’s poll was the first free national vote in six decades and drew a line under 42 years of rule under former dictator Muammar Gaddafi. International observers said it went well despite violent incidents that killed at least two people. Jibril’s National Forces Alliance (NFA) was heading for landslide victories in the Tripoli suburb of Janzour and the western region towns of Zlitan, Misalata, Tarhouna and Khoms with over three-quarters of votes counted in those areas. In Misrata, Libya’s third city, the Union for the Homeland led by a long-time Gaddafi opponent, was on course to win.
According to Wissam Sghaier, a member of the Libyan High National Elections Commission (HNEC), the final results of Libya’s General National Congress (GNC) elections in will begin to trickle in today. Given that the elections took place in 13 constituent districts across Libya, today’s results will be partial, and will not include all regions of the country.
Libya: Libyans vote in 1st nationwide election in decades but violence underscores challenges ahead | The Washington Post
Jubilant Libyans chose a new parliament Saturday in their first nationwide vote in decades, but violence and protests in the restive east underscored the challenges ahead as the oil-rich North African nation struggles to restore stability after last year’s ouster of longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi. Women ululated, while men distributed sweets and the elderly with canes or wheelchairs struggled to get to polling centers in a show of joy over the most visible step toward democracy since the eccentric ruler was killed by rebel forces in late October after months of bitter civil war. “Look at the lines. Everyone came of his and her own free will. I knew this day would come and Gadhafi would not be there forever,” said Riyadh al-Alagy, a 50-year-old civil servant in Tripoli. “He left us a nation with a distorted mind, a police state with no institutions. We want to start from zero.”
An official of the U.S.-based Carter Center poll monitoring delegation said the group is pleased with the organization of Libya’s first election in over four decades. Alexander Bick, field director of the Carter Center’s mission in Tripoli, said the poll observer group is encouraged by the level of participation by Libyan voters in the just ended poll. “The High National Election Commission has really done a remarkable job…Many people were wondering, ‘Would Libya be able to hold elections on this very tight timeframe, just coming out of the conflict and with really no history of elections being practiced here,’” said Bick. “I can say with confidence that we’ve been very impressed with the performance of the electoral commission, by the organizational ability that they’ve shown, by their commitment to hold this election on time. The materials were largely delivered to all the polling places and even against quite challenging odds.”
Abdel-Hakim Belhaj is a former rebel commander and a jihadist who once fought the Russians in Afghanistan. More recently, he has replaced his camouflaged fatigues with a business suit and founded an Islamist political party that is among the front-runners ahead of Saturday’s parliamentary election. It is the first significant step in Libya’s tumultuous transition toward democracy after more than 40 years under Muammar Qaddafi’s repressive rule. The campaign posters plastering the capital Tripoli are in sharp contrast to the decades in which Qaddafi banned political parties and considered democracy a form of tyranny. He governed with his political manifesto the “Green Book,” which laid out his vision for rule by the people but ultimately bestowed power in his hands alone. But Saturday’s election, in which 2.8 million Libyans are eligible to vote, follows a ruinous civil war that laid bare regional, tribal and ethnic conflicts and left the country divided nine months after Qaddafi was captured and killed by rebel forces in his home city of Sirte.