Libya’s liberals lead in parliament vote

Party led by former interim prime minister takes 39 of 80 available seats in country’s first free vote in decades.

The early results of Libya’s parliamentary election show a liberal party in first place in the country’s first free vote since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi.

The election commission on Tuesday said the National Forces Alliance (NFA), led by Mahmoud Jibril, the former interim prime minister, secured 39 of the 80 open seats. Those projections also meant the NFA won only 20 per cent of seats in the 200-seat assembly.

The Justice and Construction party, launched by Libya’s Muslim Brotherhood, came in second with 17 seats. 

The remainder of party seats went to a series of smaller parties, according to the electoral commission’s figures.

The complete tally, however, does not paint a clear picture about who will dominate the incoming congress, where the majority of seats, 120 of 200, were reserved for individual candidates.

The election commission said late on Tuesday that 62 per cent of registered voters, 40 per cent of whom were women, took part in the July 7 polls.

Nearly 2.9 million Libyans, 80 per cent of those eligible to cast a ballot, had registered to vote.

At least 30 women secured seats in the congress as a result of a system which obliged parties to alternate on their lists between male and female candidates. Only one female independent candidate was elected.

In all, women will hold approximately 16.5 per cent of the 200 seats.

The new congress will be tasked with appointing a new interim government and steering the country for a roughly one-year transition period, until fresh elections can be held on the basis of a new constitution.

The electoral commission has granted candidates a two-week window to review and appeal the results.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies