Libya preparing for elections

Feb. 10, 2012 at 11:50 AM
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TRIPOLI, Libya, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- The U.N. mission in Libya said it was assisting Libya's interim government in developing mechanisms needed for the first elections in 40 years.

The U.N. Support Mission in Libya said it welcomed the adoption of an electoral law by Libya's transitional government. The mission said the process was Libyan-led but the mission was there to provide technical support to an electoral committee and was ready to work with the country's Higher National Electoral Commission.

"The first free election for over four decades will provide an opportunity for Libyans to exercise their democratic rights to participate in a process which will shape the future of their country," said UNSMIL in a statement.

NATO forces intervened in Libya last year after forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi attacked civilian demonstrators upset with their government. By October, Gadhafi was killed, presumably by rebel forces, and a new interim government was installed.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay had told the U.N. Security Council that interim leaders were recognized for their efforts at legal reform but said she was "extremely" concerned by the treatment of Gadhafi loyalists held by revolutionary brigades.

International aid group Doctors Without Borders pulled out of the Libyan city of Misurata in late January because of concerns about detainee treatment.

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