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Liberals lead in Libya's election but future remains unclear

(Xinhua)

09:00, July 19, 2012

Libya's tortuous 10-day electoral journey ended Tuesday with a clear victory for the liberal coalition.

However, analysts say the final tally can not be seen as a clear guide to the future of this country until a constitution is enacted by the constitutional committee, which is still waiting to be formed.

SECULAR COALITION LEADS

The National Forces Alliance (NFA), led by former interim Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril, won 39 seats of the 80 party-list seats in Libya's 200-member General National Congress, well ahead of the second largest party, the Justice and Construction Party, launched by Libya's Muslim Brotherhood, which took 17 seats.

Salem Qabr, a Jordanian observer from the Elections Network in the Arab Region (ENAR), a non-governmental organization, said the NFA's victory owed much to Jibril's extensive popularity as the wartime prime minister in the war-torn country.

In addition, after more than four decades of dictatorship under former leader Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyans believed the NFA, comprised of more than 70 parties, was more likely to "stand for different trends of thoughts and the majority of people," he said.

The NFA's views of political decentralization and economic globalization are widely supported nationwide. It has also proposed to work with the previous government.

The poor showings of the pre-election favorite, the Justice and Construction Party, and the Islamist National Party led by former rebel commander Abdel-Hakim Belhaj came as a surprise.

Abdulla Masoud, an international politics professor at the University of Benghazi, said "Libyans are looking for an administrative bloc to reconstruct the country and develop the economy, rather than instructing them how to be a Muslim."

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