Libya parliament polls open amid tensions

The vote is being monitored by 16,000 local and foreign observers, member of the country's electoral commission Abdel-Hakim al-Shaab told a press conference on Tuesday.

Libya parliament polls open amid tensions

World Bulletin / News Desk

Polls opened on Wednesday for Libyan voters to elect a new interim parliament for their turmoil-stricken country..

A total of 1628 candidates are vying for the new parliament's 200 seats in 13 constituencies across the country.

Most polling stations opened at 8am local time (6am GMT) as around 1.6 million eligible voters begin to cast their ballots, Anadolu Agency correspondents reported.

The vote is being monitored by 16,000 local and foreign observers, member of the country's electoral commission Abdel-Hakim al-Shaab told a press conference on Tuesday.

Around 28,000 electoral employees were deployed for the process, he noted.

The landmark vote comes as fears of a possible civil strife surrounded the troubled North African country in recent weeks since renegade general Khalifa Haftar declared war on armed militias – some of which have been absorbed into the regular army – in the eastern parts of the country.

Recent fighting in the flashpoint city of Benghazi between militiamen and Haftar's forces has left scores dead from both sides.

The country in general has been gripped by turmoil since the ouster and subsequent death of longstanding autocrat Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 amid the continued refusal of armed militias – which helped overthrow the late leader – to give up their weapons.

Last Mod: 25 Haziran 2014, 10:25
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