Women May Be Deciding Factor of Libyan Election
The National Forces Alliance (NFA), a relatively liberal group, holds the lead among parties in Libya’s historic first election since 1964, according to counts that put them comfortably ahead in Tripoli and Benghazi. With around 60% voter turnout, the female vote is reported to have been the deciding factor as women cast their ballots overwhelmingly for the NFA. Mohammed Sewan of the Muslim Brotherhood-aligned Justice and Construction Party conceded NFA’s apparent victory Sunday, but the party is also reported to have done well and awaits official tallies slated to come at the end of the week.
Despite some incidents in the east of attacks on polling stations, the mood across the country remained festive, with many Libyans lining up at dawn to vote and staying in the streets lighting fireworks late into the night. Voters around the world also took part, including one American polling station in Washington D.C. President Obama and Secretary Clinton both pledged their continuing support for Libya and congratulated the country on carrying out successful elections.
Also, Ross Douthat writes in the New York Times that any complete assessment of the U.S.’s intervention in Libya must also take into account its “unintended consequences” in Mali, which he argues are soon to be the realization of the Libyan worst case scenario. With a jihadi presence, a weak authoritarian government, a looming humanitarian crisis, a divided rebellion, and no likelihood of foreign intervention, Douthat argues there is no easy Libyan intervention moralism.