The high voter turnout in the July 7 2012 national assembly elections in Libya shows that the country’s people want to live in a free and democratic country, and while the evaluations of local and international observers are still awaited, the Libyan authorities deserve congratulations for the elections having been excellently organised, in spite of isolated incidents, Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry said.
Libyans voted on July 7 for members of a 200-seat national assembly that will form a temporary government and draft a constitution ahead of full parliamentary elections next year. Current official estimates are that voter turnout was 60 per cent.
“These elections are the first step in the process of democratisation and modernisation of Libyan society after long years of monolithic dictatorship and oppression,” Bulgarian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Vessela Tcherneva said on July 9.
On the road ahead, there will be further major challenges, she said. “Bulgaria, together with its EU partners, will continue to help the Libyan people to develop a peaceful, stable and prosperous state,” Tcherneva said.
Final tallies from the election are not expected for days, the Voice of America reported. But partial counts from Libya’s big cities give the lead to an alliance of parties led by former rebel prime minister Mahmoud Jibril, who on July 8 called for a national dialogue of all parties to form a new government, VOA said.
In a joint statement on July 7, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and European Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Commissioner Štefan Füle said that in a climate of freedom, in spite of reports of isolated incidents of violence, Libyan citizens had cast their votes and had decided their future in a dignified and orderly manner.
“The EU is determined to strengthen its engagement with Libya, a key neighbour forEuropewith whom we wish to establish long-term and mutually beneficial relations. We will continue to provide strong support for Libya in the interests of securing a peaceful, democratic and prosperous future for its people,” Ashton and Füle said.