Libya Conducts First Free Poll

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Some 2.7 million Libyan people have registered to vote for members of the new National Congress on Saturday.

Reports say the election was the country’s first free poll in almost half a century.

The polls were originally slated to be held in late June. The elections were the first free elections in decades in Libya.

Reports says more than 3,000 candidates ran for office, including more than 600 women.

Today, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon congratulated the Libyan people for their determination to vote and to start anew after the revolution.

libya
A celebratory atmosphere pervades the city of Msallata, Libya, on the ninetythird anniversary of the Republic of Tripolitania, a Libyan territory which formally declared its independence during Italian colonial rule.

UN Photo

“Yesterday, their determination was again on display as men and women, young and old, cast their ballots, many with deep emotion, even in some areas where they faced threats to their security.” – Mr. Ban’s spokesperson

Mr. Ban hailed Libya’s High national Election Commission and the thousands of electoral staff “who ensured well-conducted and transparent polling.

In addition, Mr. Ban also looks forward to the successful completion of the Libyan-managed electoral process.

The UN chief also expressed his appreciation to the candidates and political groups that contested the election in a peaceful and democratic spirit.

In February this year, the citizens of Libya marked its first anniversary of the country’s uprising against Muammar Gaddafi with spontaneous celebrations nationwide.

Citizens in all ages went out on the streets of Tripoli, Benghazi, Misrata and other towns to begin the celebrations by setting off firecrackers and chanting slogans.

The celebrations were led by residents of Benghazi, the city which first rose against Gaddafi and his 42-year-old regime.

The United States of America today also joined with Libyans around the world in marking the one-year anniversary of their historic revolution.

The United States has pledged support as Libya tackles these challenges together with the United Nations Support Mission in Libya, and other international partners who stand ready to help.

Libya has been engulfed by fighting since a pro-democracy movement opposed to the regime of Muammar al-Qadhafi emerged in February 2011 following similar protests in Tunisia, Egypt and other countries across North Africa and the Middle East.

Hundreds of people have been killed in the fighting and hundreds of thousands of others have been internally displaced or forced to flee to neighbouring countries.

The United States has played a central role in marshalling the international response to the crisis in Libya. Together with its partners, they have saved thousands of lives and helped confront a ruthless, erratic dictator who was poised to slaughter his own people in order to hold on to power.

Muammar Gaddafi was killed at his home town of Sirte on October 2011 when he was overrun by fighters seeking to complete the eight-month uprising.

Gaddafi’s demise marks the end of a 42 year rule of a dysfunctional brutal regime that was ruled by fear, torture and executions. Its mismanagement of the economy brought ruin to Libya and impoverished the Libyan people despite the huge oil and gas wealth.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.