US Hails Libyan Election

Posted July 8th, 2012 at 3:00 am (UTC-5)
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U.S. President Barack Obama has hailed Libya's first free election in decades, calling it another milestone in the country's transition to democracy.

In a written statement late Saturday, Mr. Obama extended his congratulations to Libya on behalf of the American people.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, speaking in Tokyo, also congratulated Libyans Sunday.

“After more than four decades of authoritarian rule, men and women from every corner of Libya are beginning to determine their own future, and it will be the will of the people, not the whim of a dictator.”

Libya's Electoral Commission put the turnout in Saturday's election at about 60 percent. Results of the ballot counting will be available later in the week.

Nearly 3 million Libyans registered to vote for members of a 200-seat National Assembly, charged with forming a temporary government and drafting a constitution ahead of full parliamentary elections next year.