News / Middle East

Against Odds, Libyans to Elect New Parliament

Against the Odds, Libyans to Elect New Parliamenti
X
Elizabeth Arrott
June 24, 2014 1:39 PM
Libyans head to the polls Wednesday for their second parliamentary elections since the 2011 toppling of leader Moammar Gadhafi. VOA’s Elizabeth Arrott has more from our Middle East bureau in Cairo.
Against the Odds, Libyans to Elect New Parliament
Elizabeth Arrott
Libyans head to the polls Wednesday for their second parliamentary elections since the 2011 toppling of leader Moammar Gadhafi.
 
Few Libyans are expected to participate in Wednesday’s vote for a new parliament. Only a quarter of the population is registered to take part, and the fear of violence may keep many of those away from the polls.
 
The central government holds little influence beyond the capital Tripoli, making security precautions tenuous.
 
 U.N. official Ismail Ould Cheikh said the United Nations is trying to help with the vote.

"There are still political and security obstacles, and our operation may face these obstacles. The road forward is not going to be easy and for that reason the United Nations continues to provide support under a mandate from the Security Council," he said.

Ongoing battles

Forces loyal to renegade general Khalifa Haftar engaged in near daily combat with Islamist militants in Libya’s east.   
 
Haftar, who for years enjoyed U.S. protection, has promised a ceasefire during the vote.
 
But rival militias, many armed by NATO forces during the 2011 uprising, continue to cause unrest across the nation.
 
Still, the head of Libya’s election commission remained hopeful the vote would proceed smoothly.
 
"Regarding our arrangements in Benghazi, they are going to plan," said Emad al-Sayeh, a high national elections commission chief. In the South we have no problems regarding the electoral process. Any security problems have no direct link to the electoral process."

High hopes

And some voters hold out hope the election will help shore up the power of the central government.
 
"God willing, this election will go according to plan and we expect that after everything that has happened recently, we will reach the foundation stage and people will start to move forward and the country will calm down, because the people are really tired of what's going on," said Mohammed al-Guarshaa, a Benghazi resident.

Observers caution counting ballots and forming a government after this party-list free election may take some time. More worrisome, they added, is which, if any, of the warring parties will recognize the outcome.
 
  • People help a voter place his ballot paper into the box at a polling station inside a school in Tripoli, June 25, 2014.
  • An official helps a voter find his name before voting inside a school in Tripoli, June 25, 2014.
  • A man dips his finger in ink before casting his vote during a parliamentary election, in Al Bayda, Libya, June 25, 2014.
  • Election officials prepare for the vote in Tripoli June 24, 2014.
  • Election officials carry ballot boxes in a school ahead of elections in Tripoli, June 24, 2014.
  • An election official passes a voter registration board inside a school in Tripoli, June 24, 2014.
  • Election officials work inside a school ahead of elections in Tripoli, June 24, 2014.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Christmas Gains Popularity in Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jane Monheit Christmas Speciali
X
December 22, 2014 8:15 PM
Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.

All About America

AppleAndroid