Jibril Emphasizes Unity amid Early Success in Libyan Elections
Preliminary results of Libya’s national assembly election over the past weekend appear to give Mahmud Jibril of the National Forces Alliances (NFA) an unofficial lead. Faisal Krekshi, NFA secretary general claimed that early reports had the coalition ahead in the polls in most districts. Moreover, Mohammed Sewan, head of the Muslim Brotherhood-aligned Justice & Construction party, one of the NFA’s biggest rivals, said Moday “The National Forces Alliance achieved good results in some large cities except Misrata. They have a net lead in Tripoli and Benghazi.” Aljazeera reported that “preliminary figures from the country’s electoral commission showed that 1.7 million of the nearly 2.9 million eligible voters, or about 63 per cent, cast their ballots on Saturday.”
Meanwhile, Jibril called for the creation of a coalition government to unite Libya’s political factions. “We extend an honest call for a national dialogue to come all together in one coalition, under one banner… to reach a compromise, a consensus on which the constitution can be drafted and the new government can be composed,” he said. Political rivals have tentatively agreed to the proposal in the face of persistent regional differences and rivalries.
According to Marie-Louise Gumuchian and Ali Shuaib of Reuters, international observers called the elections a success, despite several isolated incedents of violence and anti-vote protestes. “These incidents do not put into question the national integrity of the elections as a whole,” said Alexander Graf Lambsdorff of the European Union Assessment Team.” John Stremlau, Carter Center vice-president of peace programs agreed, “Eleven months after the building on a new nation, there are bound to be spoilers … Libyans determined to continue with the voting process is what gives us hope for the future.” Nevertheless, Malou Innocent argues that “New election laws have reinvigorated a sense of political alienation” felt for decades by those in Libya’s marginalized east, noting the pressure to cancel the elections by armed militias who are calling for semi-autonomy in the East.