Libyans cast ballots in historic election
After nearly 1.7 million Libyans, almost 60 percent of the nation’s 2.8 million registered voters, cast ballots in a ground-breaking parliamentary election, officials on Sunday began counting votes. Authorities transported ballot boxes from polling stations around the country to the mail tally center in Tripoli, according to Nuri Khalifa Al-Abbar, the chairman of Libya’s High National Election Commission.
The Libyan election came 17 months after political demonstrations against longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi erupted in two Libyan cities. The demonstrations multiplied, leading to a civil war, NATO airstrikes, and Gadhafi’s death from a gunshot wound to the head in October. The focal point for celebrations began on Saturday and took place in Tripoli’s main square, once called Green Sqaure for Gadhafi’s political philosophy, but now known as Martyr’s Square for all those who died in 2011’s revolution. Civilians and families were driving, waving flags and honking horns, many to the sound of the revolutionary chant “raise your head up high, you are a free Libyan.” The election results will reportedly be announced on Monday.