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.
It was, for many, the act of voting that mattered most. Nevertheless, this landslide victory for the centrist National Forces Alliances in the party-list was largely expected since the preliminary results started trickling out over the past week. Talking to Libyans, you find that many of its youth – who make up the majority of eligible voters – cast their ballots against anyone running on a religious platform. They opted for policy-makers rather than ideologies. You often also hear about lessons being drawn from election results in Tunisia and Egypt, where it was viewed that Islamists hijacked the Arab Spring.
The recent sporadic attacks against foreign missions in Libya, believed to be carried out by some hardline Islamists, also seemed to spook people here and probably played some role in swaying the vote. The current interim Prime Minister Abdurrahim al-Keib said the announcement of the results was “a time of celebration”. “Everybody in Libya is happy. And we are thankful to those partners and friends who have helped us to get to this point,” Mr Keib said. There will now be a two-week window for any appeals against the tally.