U.S. envoy urges Libyan women to vote

May 9, 2012 at 12:48 PM

WASHINGTON, May 9 (UPI) -- The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations called on women in Libya to take a step to ensure their democratic voice is heard by registering to vote.

Libyans are eligible to register to vote May 15 for a national election set for later this year. They will be the first democratic national elections in a generation.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice called on Libyan women to take a stake in their political future.

"I hope that you will register to vote by May 15 and that many of you will consider running to serve in your new parliament," she said in a statement. "The success of the revolution and the benefits of democracy are yours to share."

A transitional government took control over Libya last year after the government of Moammar Gadhafi collapsed under the strain of civil war and a NATO-led mission to protect civilians.

Despite modest political progress, the post-war security situation is challenged by internal feuding. Former anti-Gadhafi rebels stormed government buildings in Tripoli this week, though no officials were injured during the raid.

Human Rights Watch in April said paramilitary forces in Misurata were suspected of human rights abuses, including torture.

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