Libya’s Jibril beats Islamists in voteReuters . Tripoli
A moderate Islamic coalition led by wartime prime minister Mahmoud Jibril beat Islamist rivals in Libya’s landmark election, results showed on Tuesday, but it was not yet clear who would dominate the new assembly as all sides scrambled to woo independents.
Jibril’s National Forces Alliance won 39 seats out of the 80 reserved for parties in Libya’s 200-seat national assembly, the full count showed. The political wing of Libya’s Muslim Brotherhood, the country’s biggest Islamist group, won just 17 of those seats in the first free national election on July 7.
But those numbers do not translate into an automatic majority for Jibril, whose party has secured just 20 per cent of seats in an assembly which will name a prime minister, pass laws and prepare for full parliamentary polls after the country drafts a new constitution next year.
A further 120 seats were allotted to independent candidates whose allegiances are hard to pin down. The names of the winners of those seats were also announced at a news conference on Tuesday, but it was not yet clear what kind of voting blocs would be formed.
The assembly could well be dominated by an unpredictable and fractious mix of candidates elected on the basis of local connections, reputation and social standing rather than ideology.
The NFA, made up of a diverse group of personalities, is seen to be at the more progressive end of Libya’s political spectrum. But it rejects the label of secularist and describes itself as a moderate Islamic political entity.
‘It’s too early to talk (about a majority.) It will become apparent in the next few days how the independents will align themselves,’ said Gumaa al-Gamaty, a founder of Libya’s Taghyeer Party. ‘I think the NFA will attract some independents and smaller parties.’
Analysts predict that Jibril’s NFA would ally itself with some smaller entities and numerous independents. But the head of the Justice and Construction party, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, told Reuters his group also expected to form significant alliances with independents.
‘We feel this is a victory for all Libyans ... and we congratulate all the winners, independents and political entities,’ Mohammed Sawan said. ‘We think we can get between 60 and 70 seats ... We are ready to cooperate with any party that is ready to serve the country.’
comments powered by Disqus