Libyans Cast Ballots in Historic Election

Posted July 7th, 2012 at 5:50 am (UTC-5)
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Libyans are going to the polls in the country's first multi-party elections in 60 years.

Voters on Saturday are choosing candidates for a 200-seat National Assembly. The assembly will form a temporary government and draft a constitution, ahead of full parliamentary elections next year.

Security forces are on guard near polling centers to prevent any possible violence.

Libyan officials say protesters have disrupted some polling centers in eastern Libya, including in the cities of Benghazi and Ajdabiya. Some groups argue eastern Libya is being neglected by officials in Tripoli and want more powers for the region.

The voting is taking place less than a year after long-time leader Moammar Gadhafi died soon after being captured by Libyan anti-government fighters. Some voters are turning up draped in the new Libyan flag with its red, green and black colors.

More than 140 parties and small factions campaigned 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.

In violence Friday, unidentified gunmen opened fire on a helicopter carrying election material, killing an election official who was on board.

Libyan officials say the incident took place near the eastern town of Benghazi. The motive for the attack was not clear at the time.))