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Int'l community hails Libyan election ahead of outcome

English.news.cn   2012-07-10 13:30:10            

TRIPOLI, July 10 (Xinhua) -- The global community welcomed Libya's landmark parliamentary election on Tuesday, a day before the High National Electoral Commission (HNEC) is to release the results.

Hours after the election wrapped up late Saturday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon congratulated the Libyan people, saying "their determination was again on display" as they cast their ballot in the election.

This was the first national congress election after strongman Muammar Gaddafi was toppled in 2011.

According to HNEC statistics, 60 percent of the country's 2.7 million registered voters turned up to cast their ballot. The country had 3.4 eligible voters out of a total population of over 6 million.

Ban also hailed the role played by the HNEC and the thousands of electoral staff who ensured "well conducted and transparent polling," adding that the world body supports the Libyan-managed electoral process.

The UN chief expressed his appreciation for the 374 political entities and 2,639 individuals contending for the parliament's 200 seats, whom he said contested the election "in a peaceful, democratic spirit."

The French Foreign Ministry said in a well-wishing note, "we congratulate the Libyan people for the strong mobilization. It shows the will to make the transition successful and turn the page on years of dictatorship to now build a state with a rule of law."

China also sent its congratulations, with Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin describing the election as an "important step" in the country's political transition process.

"We hope Libya can achieve long-term stability, prosperity and development at an early date," Liu said at a daily news briefing Monday, adding that China will make joint efforts with the new Libyan government to boost relations between the two countries.

In a statement issued on the same day, the South Korean Foreign Ministry welcomed the election as having "historical significance."

"We extend congratulations to the Libyan people for exercising sovereignty for the first time in nearly 50 years," it added.

HNEC chief Nuri al-Abbar said that 94 percent of the polling stations ran smoothly, but violent disruptions were observed at some poll stations, especially in eastern Libya.

In the city of Ajdabiya, a person was killed in a drive-by shooting outside a polling station, and another bloody incident in the same city left one dead and one wounded when a group of armed men tried to close a poll station.

Ajdabiya and Brega, both located in the east of Libya, closed their polling stations after the attacks, but later 20 polling stations in Ajdabiya reopened.

Initial results showed that the National Forces Alliance (NFA), headed by interim Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril, led the polls, according to the HNEC.

The NFA, an alliance of political parties, is the second largest group after Muslim Brotherhood's Justice and Construction Party. It had fielded 70 candidates across Libya.

Jibril has described his coalition as a "moderate Islamic movement," although many Western media had labeled it "a liberal alliance."

Two-fifths of the seats are reserved for parties that were banned under Gaddafi's rule, according to the election law adopted early February, and the rest will be allocated to independent candidates.

Special Report: Situation in Libya

Editor: Chen Zhi
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