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Libya wraps up voter registration campaign

May 23, 2012 at 10:47 AM   |   Comments

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TRIPOLI, Libya, May 23 (UPI) -- A voter registration campaign launched in preparation for June elections in Libya was a major accomplishment for the country, a U.N. envoy said.

Libya wrapped up its voter registration campaign this week. Voters in late June head to polling stations for the first time in a generation to choose leaders for their new national Congress.

Registration "is a major milestone and a source of pride for the Libyan people who endured 42 years of denial of political rights," Ian Martin, U.N. special envoy for Libya, said in a statement.

Election officials said roughly 2.7 million adults registered to vote during the campaign. There were several different political parties registered to take part on the congressional vote, Martin added.

"This has been a huge challenge and undertaking in terms of logistics and security planning, particularly in the context of Libya's post-conflict transition and the fact that there has been no electoral experience in over four decades," he said.

Longtime Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi died late last year after falling into rebel hands. His government by mid-2011 began to collapse under the dual strains of civil war and a NATO-led campaign meant to protect civilian demonstrators from pro-Gadhafi forces.

The security situation in the country is complicated by tribal conflicts and internal rivalries.

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