Campaigning has started last week in Libya as the first direct elections since former leader Muammar Gaddafi assumed power over 40 years ago are set to take place on July 7. Libyans will vote in a 200-member General National Congress that will be tasked with overseeing the government, drafting a constitution and overseeing new executive and legislative elections.
The ruling National Transitional Council will dissolve itself as soon as the GNC is elected. The NTC had presented a 20-month plan for transitioning to democracy after declaring the country “liberated” following Gaddafi’s death at the hands of rebels. The plan included the elections of and handing of power to a GNC within eight months. Eighty of the GNC seats will be allocated to candidates from political associations (parties and groups) and the rest will be reserved for independents. There are 142 political associations fielding 1,206 candidates and 2,501 candidates running for independent seats.
Around 2.7 million Libyans have registered to vote, over 80 percent of those eligible. Candidates now have eleven days, until July 5, to campaign. Guidelines for campaigning published by the electoral commission urge candidates not to employ tactics that would lead to violence between voters or hurt national unity.
(Source: Daily News Egypt)