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Libyans to vote for first time in 60 years

July 6, 2012 at 8:13 AM
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TRIPOLI, Libya, July 6 (UPI) -- Nearly three million Libyans may vote in the country's first election in 60 years, hailed by U.N. General Secretary Ban Ki-moon as a "march toward democracy."

Voters Saturday choose representatives for a 200-seat National Assembly as a temporary government that will then be charged with drafting a constitution, Voice of America reported.

Another round of elections is scheduled next year to officially replace the government of former dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

Ban issued a video message to Libyans, reaffirming the United Nations' support of Libya's move toward democracy.

"On Saturday, you will exercise a right that you have been denied for more than four decades, the right to vote, the right to elect a new National Congress -- this is a milestone in Libya's long march toward democracy," he said.

"This is, truly, a moment for national celebration. We all know the road to democracy is long and hard. We share your aspiration for a peaceful and prosperous Libya founded on the principles of justice, human rights, inclusiveness and accountability."

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