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Libya: Liberals Claim Lead In Elections

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The liberal coalition announced Sunday it is ahead in most of constituencies in Libya, after yesterday’s historic vote. On their part, the Islamists acknowledged “a marked advance” of their main rivals in the legislative elections in the country’s two main cities, Tripoli and Benghazi.

“According to preliminary information gathered, the coalition is ahead in most constituencies,” said Faisal al-Krekshi, the general secretary of the Alliance of National Forces, which brings together more than 40 small parties who are considered the architects the 2011 revolution. But he preferred to await to the official results by the Electoral Commission, before giving further details.

Earlier, the leader of the main Islamist party affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhoods, has conceded a “clear lead” to the liberals in Tripoli and Benghazi. “The Alliance (of National Forces) has achieved good results in some large cities. They have a clear lead in Tripoli and Benghazi, “said the leader of the Justice and Construction Party (JCP), Mohamed Sawan.

These results relate to the political parties who compete for 80 seats reserved for political party lists in the next national assembly which has a total of 200 members. The remaining 120 seats are reserved for individual candidates.

Meanwhile, several election observers in Tripoli and Benghazi, interviewed by AFP, reported an “overwhelming” victory to the Liberals in several constituencies and polling stations with rates sometimes exceeding 90%, as in the popular district of Abu Salim in the Libyan capital. The vote count began Saturday night and the Libyan Electoral Commission should declare preliminary results “Monday night or Tuesday.”

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