Libyans Prepare for Historic Election

Posted July 6th, 2012 at 2:30 pm (UTC-5)
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Libyans are preparing to cast ballots in the country's first multi-party election in 60 years.

Saturday's polling will take place less than a year after long-time leader Moammar Gadhafi died shortly after being captured by Libyan anti-government fighters.

Voters will choose candidates for a 200-seat National Assembly. The assembly will form a temporary government and draft a constitution, ahead of another election set for next year.

VOA correspondent Al Pessin is in Tripoli where he says emotion's are high about Saturday's voting.

“People are quite excited and even emotional about the election. It's been a long time. Never before in the lifetimes of most Libyans was there a multi-party election. Also, everybody in this country just went through this revolution and they are quite emotional about the young men who were killed fighting to remove the Gadhafi regime.”

More than 140 parties and small factions are campaigning in the election. Analysts predict Islamists will do well, along with a secular group of officials who played a role in the country's post-Gadhafi transition.

Meanwhile, unidentified gunmen opened fire on a helicopter carrying election material, on Friday, killing an election official who was onboard.

Libyan officials say the incident took place near the eastern town of Benghazi. The motive for the attack was unclear.