Violence overshadows Libya vote

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Violence overshadows Libya vote

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Libyans will get their first real taste of democracy in more than half a century on Saturday.

But the election of a 200-member General National Congress is overshadowed by fears of violence.

Security has been stepped up after an election office in Benghazi was stormed last week and electoral material was torched in Ajdabiya on Thursday night.

As for the international observers who are in Libya to monitor the elections, they will not even go to some regions because of the ferocity of tribal clashes there.

However, there is much optimism. The Arab League representative on the observers’ committee has praise for the National Election Commission which he says is well organised according to all international standards.

Some 3,700 candidates are running for the General National Congress. The aim is to create a government with a stronger mandate than the National Transitional Council which has been running the country since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi.