News / Africa

Libya to Hold First Free Election in 60 Years

Libya To Hold First Free Election in 60 Years Saturdayi
|| 0:00:00
X
Al Pessin
July 06, 2012 2:12 AM
Nearly three million Libyans have registered to vote in the country's first multi-party election in 60 years, set for Saturday. They will choose among 1400 candidates for a 200-seat National Assembly that will form a temporary government and draft a constitution, leading to another election next year. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Tripoli.

Libya To Hold First Free Election in 60 Years Saturday

Al Pessin
TRIPOLI — Nearly three million Libyans have registered to vote in the country's first multi-party election in 60 years, set for Saturday.  They will choose among 1400 candidates for a 200-seat National Assembly that will form a temporary government and draft a constitution, leading to another election next year.

Nine months ago, Libyans were celebrating in a square in central Tripoli. They renamed it Martyrs' Square, in memory of the fighters who died in the revolution that ended 42 years of rule by Moammar Gadhafi.

Today, the square is busy with traffic and decorated with campaign posters for Saturday's election.

Tripoli cafes are buzzing about the election.  Student Amin Siyala is home for the summer from school in Britain.

“Stuff hasn't become suddenly a lot better. That's just truth right now. But obviously we know it will get better because there still needs to be time for the elections to happen and for a new government to come and bring change,” Siyala said.

Not far away, at a more traditional cafe next to a Roman ruin, several older men also want to talk politics. Mohammed al-Hadi bin-Noba says many Libyans don't really understand what they are voting for. But he says in a way that doesn't matter. “The election is of secondary importance compared with the blood that has been spilled to make the revolution a success,” he said.

There are still concerns about security, amid tribal clashes, fighting among militias formed for the revolution, and regional disputes about power sharing. An Amnesty International report this week says those problems must be brought under control.

British analyst Anthony Skinner, at the Maplecroft risk assessment firm, shares the concern, but he told VOA via Skype the overall trajectory in Libya is positive.

“It's inevitable that these various groups will want to ensure that their interests are protected. And they will continue to jockey for power. And unfortunately because of the level of armament and because the various militias have not been absorbed into the military, this will translate into further gun battles, I expect,” Skinner said.

But the problems are far from the minds of this family having a day out in Tripoli.

Dr. Mohammed Reda Mangoos and his wife Naima Al-Taher are excited about the vote, and the doctor remembers Libya's last free election in 1952. “That day, I was about six years old. I still remember, like a dream. There was voting in my city. I still remember, like a dream. Now, we are proud to see this again,” Mangoos said.

“It's enough for us that we see all the posters of the candidates all around, colors and faces from all kinds of personalities. It used to be just one picture of one man filled the whole area. You didn't see anyone but Gadhafi,” Al-Taher said.

There are more than 140 parties and small factions campaigning for the election, and hundreds of independent candidates. Islamists are expected to do well, as is a secular group of officials who were involved in last year's transition. But Libyans from all walks of life say the country will plot a moderate course regardless of who is elected.

You May Like

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces Chaotic World, Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: libya a muslim country from: libya
July 06, 2012 8:56 AM
libya is going for the better from now on the muslims will start to rise you like or not, sharia law is the new libya


by: Marty from: USA
July 06, 2012 12:39 AM
Here comes more Muslim Arab Winter...


by: Izzy Horowitz from: NYS
July 06, 2012 12:27 AM
"Libya to hold first free election" Anyone who believes free elections can happen in Libya, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon or any middle eastern Moslem country also believes in the tooth fairy and their civility to Christians and Jews.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid