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In Pictures: East Libya’s federalism battle
Libyans in Cyrenaica contest the unequal regional distribution of seats to be allocated in upcoming elections.
The black Cyrenaica flag is used by federalist protesters aiming to create an eastern region independent from Tripoli.
3 Jul 2012
Federalist protesters gathered in Benghazi to demonstrate against what they say is an unjust distribution of seats for their region in the General National Congress.
Ballots, ballot boxes and indelible ink arrived from Dubai and are stored in a warehouse in Benghazi, ready to be distributed to the polling stations. Libyan voters will have to dip a finger in one of the 16,000 cases of ink to prevent people from voting twice.
Women of Benghazi held a gathering to promote female participation in the July 7 vote.
At this Gaddafi-era monument, federalist protesters placed the new Libyan national flag under the black Cyrenaica flag, symbolising the federalists(***) desire to receive greater recognition for the eastern region.
The Man-Made River Authority building is used by the High National Election Committee in Benghazi as the nerve centre of its activities in the run-up to the elections.
Faraj Abdel Aziz Najem, a 48-year-old independent candidate in the district of Benghazi, does not have a campaign team and relies on himself and his family and friends to distribute his campaign material.
Members of the "public outreach team" of the High National Elections Commission printed leaflets to educate schoolchildren and their parents about the General National Congress vote.
Jalal El Kharaz, chief coordinator of the logistical team of the High National Election Committee, inspects newly arrived ballots and ballot boxes in a warehouse in Benghazi.
Federalist protesters hand in their voter registration cards in protest against what they say is an unjust distribution of seats in the General National Congress.
The streets of Benghazi are filled with campaign posters, many of them ripped by federalist youth who oppose the centralised power of Tripoli, the capital.
Suliman Zubi, 69, is a retired lawyer from Benghazi and one of the 2,500 independent candidates running in the July 7 national election.
Hamed Elhasy, the spokeman for the Cyrenaica military council, says Libya should be a federal state with more autonomy given to the eastern region.
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