1.25 million Libyans registered to vote by Thursday, 10 May
Tripoli, 12 May:
With only two days to go to the voter registration . . .[restrict]deadline, over 1.25 million Libyans had registered to vote by Thursday (10 May), according to a representative of the High National Election Commission (HNEC), speaking live on a Friday morning TV show on the state-owned Al-Wataniya TV channel.
Meanwhile, Libya’s top religious leader, head of the Supreme Fatwa Council, Grand Mufti Sheikh Sadik Al-Ghariani, called on Libyans at home and abroad on Friday to ‘unify their words and speak with one voice and choose the righteous when electing the members of the National Congress’.
Speaking on the Libya TV state-owned channel, the Grand Mufti went on to say that “we look forward to the holding of the General Congress elections in freedom as it [the General Congress] is going to form the next government and it will be drafting the constitution. We have to hold on to this opportunity and not let go of it and we should resolve on participating in this election with this intention – the intention of appointing the righteous.”
“We have to unite our words and our ranks to elect the fittest candidates for the job,” he said, stressing the need for participation in this right, a right Libyans had been deprived of for four decades.
“Participation by all the people who have been given this right, men and women, is an Islamic duty,” he concluded.
Libyans will go to the polls for the first time in over four decades to choose a National Congress that will draft the new constitution and choose a new government until general elections probably in 2013.
These elections come only one year and four months after the start of Libya’s Revolution, and only 8 months after the declaration of Liberation from the grasp of the old regime.
Preparations for the election have been far from perfect with the government struggling to impose its will on the expansive yet sparsely populated country. And the independent HNEC has been slow in getting started, having its top tier replaced only a couple of week ago.
The HNEC has been criticized for starting its activities too late, not conducting awareness campaigns early enough to educate a public that has had no tradition or culture of democracy, participation or elections. [/restrict]