Landmark Libya polls postponed
TRIPOLI - Reuters
Libya’s first election in more than half a century will take place 18 days later than planned because of the logistical challenges in a country still recovering from last year’s revolt, the electoral commission said on June 10.
The election, for an assembly which will re-draw the autocratic system of rule put in place by ousted leader Moammar Gadhafi, will now take place on July 7 instead of the previous date of June 19.
“I don’t want to blame anybody for the postponement, I just want to make sure the elections are transparent,” Nouri al-Abbar, head of the electoral commission, told a news conference.
Last time in 1952
He said that crucial pieces of preparation for the election, including voter registration and vetting candidates to make sure they had no links to Gadhafi, had run over schedule, making it impossible to hold the vote on the planned date.
During his 42-year rule, Gaddafi banned direct elections. The last time Libya held a multi-party national election was in 1952, under the reign of King Idris. The election set for next month is for a national assembly whose job it will be to oversee the government, draft a new constitution and schedule a new round of polls. At the moment Libya is governed by the National Transitional Council, an unelected body of civic and tribal leaders and Gadhafi opponents.