Libya Elections At Last
After decades of repression under Muammar Gaddafi, Libyans are realising their long-held dream of voting for an elected government.
In Libya and six other countries, voting for an elected 200-member General National Congress to replace the National Transitional Council is taking place this week. Voting in the UAE, as well as Canada, Germany, Jordan, the UK and the USA, is open for five days, having started on July 3 and running until July 7. In Libya, the polling takes place on July 7.
Libyan expats in the UAE are casting their votes at the consulate in Dubai. A steady flow of registered voters have visited it since Tuesday, where they have been assisted by election officials.
Speaking shortly after voting on Thursday, Hamed Lamlum, a Dubai resident from Misrata, said: “I am very happy because it is the first time we have been able to vote for someone in our country.”
The out-of-country voting for the election is being implemented by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) on behalf of the High National Electoral Commission (HNEC) of Libya.
Majda Annaihum, a National Advisor for IOM, is pleased with the turnout so far despite many Libyan expats being out of the country on holiday.
She said: “People are so happy to be voting; finally, they have the chance to do this. We have done everything to make this happen; the arrangements started one month ago. We have trained very well and hopefully by the 7th, all of the Libyans in the UAE will have voted.
“There are around 2,000 Libyans in the UAE, but the turnout will be maybe less than this because many of them have left for vacation.”
The elected 200-member General National Council will form the interim government and draft a new constitution for Libya. Once passed by the General National Council, the constitution will be put to a national referendum within 30 days.— firstname.lastname@example.org