Liberals ahead of Islamists in Libya vote

Liberal factions in Libya were seen outshining Muslim Brotherhood and allies in the first free polls held.

Last Updated: Jul 09, 2012, 14:08 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

Tripoli: In a major setback to the Islamists, liberal factions in Libya were seen outshining Muslim Brotherhood and allies in the first free polls held in the country since Gaddafi’s fall, unofficial vote counts suggested on Monday.

While the final results of the Parliamentary election may take days to come, initial vote counts in some of the biggest cities of Libya, like Benghazi, Liberals were seen taking a clear lead.

NFA secretary general Faisal Krekshi said: "Early reports show that the coalition is leading the polls in the majority of constituencies."

The secular coalition NFA (National Forces Alliance) led by Mahmud Jibril may come out as the leading party if the present vote trends continue.

Mahmud Jibril, called for dozens of other parties to join in a national dialogue and government.

Addressing a news conference on Sunday, Jibril, however, didn`t declare victory.

"We stand for inclusiveness. We are nationalists with a priority of national sovereignty and development. The only way this can happen is to work together,” he said.

The new 200-seat National General Congress in Libya has 120 seats reserved for independent candidates, the vast majority of whom have no prior political experience, and 80 seats for parties, which have only organized themselves over the last few weeks.

That seat allocation means any strong party bloc would likely need to form a coalition with the patchwork of independent politicians who are largely focused on local issues, rather than religious ones, in order to choose a new prime minister and conduct business.

Unlike Egypt and Tunisia, where the fall of dictatorship post-Arab Spring elections, saw Islamist rise to power, Libya seems to be all set to reverse the trend.

With Agency Inputs