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Liberals have the edge in Libya vote but no clear majority

19 july 2012, 13:34
0
Libya's liberal coalition outscored Islamist parties in preliminary results unveiled by the electoral commission Tuesday -- but it remained unclear who will dominate the next congress, AFP reports.

The National Forces Alliance, a liberal coalition led by wartime prime minister Mahmud Jibril, gained 39 of 80 seats open to parties in the General National Congress, the first elected body since Moamer Kadhafi's ouster.

The Justice and Construction Party, which was launched by Libya's Muslim Brotherhood, took only 17 seats. The remainder of party seats went to a constellation of smaller, lesser-known parties.

This complete tally, however, does not paint a clear picture about who will dominate the incoming congress, where the majority of seats -- 120 of 200 -- were reserved for individual candidates.

The two leading parties are likely to court independents and smaller entities in a bid to form a dominant bloc within the congress, where major decisions and legislation require a two-third majority to pass.

The results come 10 days after landmark elections hailed by world leaders.

They were unveiled in a grand ceremony attended by Libyan officials including Mustafa Abdel Jalil, leader of the National Transitional Council, and interim prime minister Abdel Rahim, as well as foreign diplomats.

At least 30 women secured seats in the congress thanks to a 'zipper system' which obliged parties to alternate horizontally and vertically between male and female candidates.

Only one female independent candidate was elected.

In all, women hold approximately 16.5 percent of the 200 seats.

Libya's new congress is tasked with appointing a new interim government and steering the country for a roughly one-year transition period, until fresh elections can be held on the basis of a new constitution.

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