The residents of Libya’s battle-scarred city of Misrata went to the polls yesterday to elect a local council.
During the conflict many cities hastily imposed councils to run things, but now Misrata is leading the way saying its time for the people to choose.
One woman voter expressed her happiness at being able to exercise her democratic right to vote: “My feeling is that for the first time in our lives we feel we are human. We can choose what we want, it’s a joy for all Libyan people.”
A former rebel who was wounded in the eight-month conflict to oust former leader Muammar Gaddafi felt he had achieved a great deal, “ All I’ve worked for, all I’ve fought for and everything my friends died for,” he said.
Despite the destruction in Misrata, the city has become a bastion of order in the country. Unlike Tripoli, where a weak interim government is struggling with militias and interest groups to organise elections in June to elect a national assembly.