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Mixed emotions after Libya vote


Libya

Mixed emotions after Libya vote

There were mixed emotions in Libya on Saturday as the country went to the polls in its first free elections in over half a century.

In the capital, Tripoli, locals celebrated casting their ballots to choose Libya’s first national assembly of a post-Gaddafi era.

Election officials said 1.6 million out of 2.8 million registered voters took part, a turnout of just under 60 percent.

The 200-member assembly will choose a prime minister and a cabinet.

More than 2,600 individual candidates were in the running.

But Libyans in the east of the country are concerned they will be under-represented, with only 60 seats allotted to their region.

Protesters in Benghazi said they wanted the oil-rich area, also known as by its historical name of Cyrenacia, to have a greater say in the decision-making process.

Regional leaders say they could shut off oil exports if their demands are not met.

In a bid to defuse tensions, the outgoing National Transitional Council has said the new assembly will no longer be responsible for choosing an expert panel to draft Libya’s new constitution.

The assembly will be replaced by a fully-working parliament after fresh elections next year.

Preliminary results from this weekend’s vote are expected later Sunday, with the full count set to be announced on Monday at the earliest.

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