Libya election success for secularist Jibril's bloc

Libyan High National Electoral Commission chairman Nuri al-Abbar announces the Libyan General Assembly Election final votes counting on July 17 Senior Libyan politicians gathered to hear the results being announced at a hotel in Tripoli

Results from Libya's first elections since the overthrow of Col Gaddafi have shown gains for an alliance of parties seen as broadly secular.

The National Forces Alliance, led by ex-interim Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril, has won 39 out of 80 seats reserved for political parties.

The Muslim Brotherhood's party has gained 17.

The 200-member General National Assembly will also include dozens of independent candidates.

The overall orientation that the assembly will have is so far unclear.

What remains to be seen is who, if anyone, will lead the assembly by majority, the BBC's Rana Jawad in Tripoli reports.

That will depend on the allegiances - largely unknown - of 120 independent candidates, she adds.

While congratulating other parties, the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Justice and Construction Party said it had made gains in seats reserved for independent members.

They may now be banking on a shift in their favour from the non-party lists, our correspondent adds.

Analysis

It was, for many, the act of voting that mattered most. Nevertheless, this landslide victory for the centrist National Forces Alliance in the party-list was largely expected since the preliminary results started trickling out over the past week.

Talking to Libyans, you find that many of the youth - who make up the majority of eligible voters - cast their ballots against anyone running on a religious platform. They opted for policy-makers rather than ideologies. You often also hear about lessons being drawn from election results in Tunisia and Egypt, where it was viewed that Islamists hijacked the Arab Spring.

The recent sporadic attacks against foreign missions in Libya, believed to be carried out by some hardline Islamists, also seemed to spook people here and probably played some role in swaying the vote.

The current interim Prime Minister Abdurrahim al-Keib said the announcement of the results was "a time of celebration".

"Everybody in Libya is happy. And we are thankful to those partners and friends who have helped us to get to this point," Mr Keib said.

There will now be a two-week window for any appeals against the tally.

More than 100 parties competed in the poll, many of them formed only in recent months.

The assembly will have legislative powers, though it is unclear what role it will play in drawing up the country's new constitution. The assembly is expected to be in place for at least a year.

It will choose the first elected government since Col Muammar Gaddafi came to power in 1969. He was ousted in August 2011 and killed two months later.

The last fully free parliamentary election was held soon after independence in 1952. The last national vote was held in 1965, when no political parties were allowed.

EU election observers said the voting process on 7 July was largely "peaceful and smooth", although technical delays and violence disrupted polling in several locations.

One person was killed in a shooting near a polling station in Ajdabiya.

The election commission put turnout at 62% of registered voters.

In an interview with the BBC last week, Mr Jibril called on parties to form a coalition government, something which rival politicians tentatively welcomed.

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