Last Updated: Sun Jul 08, 2012 13:57 pm (KSA) 10:57 am (GMT)

Liberal coalition says it is leading polls across Libya

Votes from Saturday’s historic polls in Libya are still being tallied by the country’s electoral commission and preliminary results are expected within 48 hours. (Reuters)
Votes from Saturday’s historic polls in Libya are still being tallied by the country’s electoral commission and preliminary results are expected within 48 hours. (Reuters)

Libya’s main liberal coalition said on Sunday that its party candidates were leading the polls in most constituencies after the first elections since the ouster of Muammar Qaddafi.

“Early reports show that the coalition is leading the polls in the majority of constituencies,” Faisal Krekshi, secretary general of the National Forces Alliance, told AFP.

The leader of one of Libya’s main Islamist parties, Justice and Construction, also said that the alliance had a solid advantage in the polls.

The alliance is led by Mahmud Jibril who played a prominent role as rebel prime minister during the popular revolt that toppled Qaddafi last year.

“The National Forces Alliance achieved good results in some large cities except Misrata. They have a net lead in Tripoli and in Benghazi,” said Mohammed Sawan, who heads the Justice and Construction party.

The bulk of Libya’s population and registered voters are concentrated in the capital, which lies in the west of the oil-rich desert country, and in the eastern city of Benghazi.

“But it is a tight race for us in the south,” Sawan added.

Libyans on Saturday voted for a General National Congress, a 200-member legislative assembly which will steer the country through a transition period following the toppling and killing of Qaddafi last year.

A total of 80 seats in the incoming congress are reserved for political entities while the remaining 120 are open to individual candidates, some of which are openly allied to specific parties.

Sawan said that results were mixed in terms of which party was performing better at the polls when it comes down to allies and sympathizers who are running as individual candidates.

Analysts say it is hard to predict the political make-up of the new assembly, but parties and candidates professing an attachment to Islamic values dominate and very few are running on an exclusively secular ticket.

Beside the Justice and Construction offshoot of Libya’s Muslim Brotherhood , al-Watan, the party of former CIA detainee and Islamist insurgent Abdel Hakim Belhadj is tipped to do well.

Votes are still being tallied by Libya’s electoral commission with preliminary results expected within 48 hours.

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