Libyans cast first vote since fall of Gaddafi
Saturday, July 7, 2012
Polls opened Saturday for the first national elections in Libya in more than four decades through acts of sabotage in the east of the protesters who think that their region is under-represented in the new Congress.
In Tripoli, polling stations opened on time at 5 am GMT, with lines of eager voters to elect the National Congress, which will lead the country for a period of transition, a journalist, said.
"Words can not capture my joy, this is a historic day," said Omran Fawziya, 40, one of the first women in line at school, Ali Abdullah Warith in the heart of the capital.
Voters are presented wrapped in black flags, red and green - the colors adopted by the revolutionaries who overthrew the dictator long Muammar Gaddafi last year, mosques, while criticizing the singing of "God is great".
Libyans vote for a national assembly, the first election since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi, after a series of acts of sabotage that have caused tensions in the east.
The vote will probably be a very different experience for residents of Tripoli, which has enjoyed a season of calm in the cities in eastern Libya, which have been subject to outbreaks of deadly violence and threats to disrupt the vote.
On Friday, the fire came a helicopter in eastern Libya, killing a poll worker.
Ian Martin, head of the United Nations mission to Libya, urged "all voters to exercise their hard-earned democratic rights to elect their representatives in Congress" while condemning the deadly attack.
The Brussels-based group International Crisis has warned that the electoral process in Libya is "endangered by armed protesters ... are threatening to disrupt voting in the eastern part of the country.
Also in the run up to elections, five oil facilities have been forced to cease production by the armed protesters who want a greater representation of this, at the entrance of 200 members of Congress.
Armed protesters on Sunday sacked the electoral commission office in Benghazi. Arsonists in nearby Ajdabiya later set fire to a warehouse with voting materials.
The composition of Congress has been a topic of heated debate, with political factions, as the federalist movement demanding more seats.
The decision of the National Transitional Council (CNT) said seats are distributed according to demographic considerations, with 100 seats going to the west, 60 east and 40 south.
However, the factions in the East wants an equal division of seats in the assembly and have threatened to sabotage the vote on Saturday, if this demand is not met.
The authorities dismiss these minority groups as a disruptive, noting that more than 2.7 million people, about 80 percent of the electorate, have registered to participate in the survey history.
Libya has not seen since the time of elections late monarch King Idris Gaddafi deposed in a bloodless coup in 1969.
Parties were banned as an act of treason for 42 years of Gaddafi iron-fisted rule. Now there are 142 parties to present candidates.
A total of 80 seats are reserved for party candidates, while 120 people are open to individual candidates. In all, 3,707 candidates are running in 72 districts across the country.
Since the parties, the coalition of former wartime Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril is seen as a key competitor among liberals, facing stiff competition from two Islamist parties - Justice and Development, and Al-Wattan.
The next Congress will have legislative powers and appoint an interim government. But no longer has the right to designate a constituent power, under a last-minute amendment issued by the NTC output.
The winds of spring began Arab Islamists to power in neighboring Tunisia and Egypt, and can bring the same result on Saturday in the first national elections since the overthrow Gaddafi.
An uprising of February 2011 ended more than four decades of dictatorship that was killed, while in the long past October.