By Ria Novosti
Libya’s National Forces Alliance is leading in the North African country’s first parliamentary elections in more than 40 years and after the downfall and death of dictator Muammar Gaddafi in October 2011, Al Arabiya news agency reported on Sunday citing its sources.
The agency added that this information is preliminary and the official results of the vote, in which Libyans were electing a 200-member transitional national assembly, will be announced next week.
Some 2,500 candidates ran in Saturday’s polls for seats in the transitional parliament, according to election authorities. Of the 200 seats up for grabs, 120 will go to independent candidates and 80 to members of political parties.
The election commission said that some 2.7 million Libyans cast their votes on Saturday, which makes up a 60 percent voters turnout.
The National Forces Alliance unites Libya’s Liberal parties, movements and independent politicians and is led by former head of the National Transitional Council Mahmoud Jibril.
Although ex-war time Prime Minister Jibril is considered the key contender among the liberals, he is still facing a tough competition from two Islamist parties, which are the Justice and Construction and Al-Watan, the agency added.
The Justice and Construction party is a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood international association and Al-Watan is the party of former CIA detainee and Islamist insurgent Abdel Hakim Belhadj.
Political parties were banned in Libya under Gaddafi, and the country has not held nationwide elections since the 1960s.
Gaddafi died after being captured by Libyan rebels in his home town of Sirte on October 20, 2011. His death marked the end of a bloody nine-month-long revolt that broke out in February 2011, triggered by popular uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, and has claimed thousands of lives.