Libya liberals lead in constitution assembly polls

Several high-profile liberals have reportedly secured their seats in the panel, topped by former oil minister Ali Tarhouni and academician Abdel-Qadder Qaddoura in Benghazi.

Libya liberals lead in constitution assembly polls

World Bulletin / News Desk

Libyan liberals are leading in polls to elect 60 members of the constitution assembly tasked with writing the country's new constitution, according to preliminary partial results announced by the country's elections commission.

Several high-profile liberals have reportedly secured their seats in the panel, topped by former oil minister Ali Tarhouni and academician Abdel-Qadder Qaddoura in Benghazi.

Mohamed al-Toumi, a liberal lawyer, defeated his Islamist contender Ali al-Sebaei in Tripoli by a wide margin.

Zeinab al-Zaidi, a female media figure, defeated her challenger Iman al-Mgherbi, a female preacher, in the same constituency by thousands of votes.

Islamists, nonetheless, managed to snatch two seats in the east Tripoli constituency.

A total of 649 Libyans are vying for a seat in the assembly, which is expected to draft Libya's first post-revolution constitution.

The Higher National Elections Commission (HNEC) Chairman Nouri al-Abar told a press conference late Sunday that regions where the vote had been suspended due to violence would hold a fresh round of voting on Wednesday.

He urged security authorities to provide "favorable security conditions" for the new round.

At least 13 seats are still up for grabs in the Wednesday vote after violent incidents had disrupted polling in several areas, including Sebha, Oubari, Murzak and Darnah.

On Friday, al-Abar said that about 45 percent of Libya's 1.4 million eligible voters cast their ballots on Thursday.

Libya has remained in political crisis since the country's interim parliament voted in December to extend its mandate by one year, extending the transitional period that followed the ouster of strongman Muammar Gaddafi in late 2011.

The revised timetable has angered many Libyans, who have since taken to the streets to protest the decision and demand early elections.

Shell forces evacuation of Libya parliament HQ

The headquarters of Libya's General National Congress (interim parliament) was evacuated Sunday evening after a shell fell into the building.

"The shell landed into the courtyard while lawmakers were discussing the dissolution of militias," Abdel-Rahman al-Sowehli, chairman of the Defense Committee, told Anadolu Agency.

A parliamentary source said that the session was suspended following the attack.

No casualties were reported.

Last Mod: 24 Şubat 2014, 10:35
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