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Ballot-counting under way in Libya

July 8, 2012 at 8:38 AM   |   Comments

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TRIPOLI, Libya, July 8 (UPI) -- Libyan officials were counting voters' ballots Sunday, a day after the country's first democratic leadership election in 42 years.

National elections spokesman Nuri Abbar told a news conference in Tripoli Saturday night it was estimated 1.2 million people had voted during the day, the Tripoli Post said. There were 2.8 million eligible voters, the report said.

There were 1,554 polling stations in the North African country, but about 2 percent of them either couldn't open or closed early due to a lack of ballots or threats of violence from federalists loyal to the late deposed dictator Moammar Gadhafi, CNN said.

Many of the closed stations were in Eastern Libya, where there is widespread political dissent and a sense of under-representation at the federal level, the broadcaster said.

There are 200 seats in the parliament, half of which represent western regions, 40 are for southern regions and 60 for the east.

As in many Arabic countries, voters must dip a finger into purple indelible ink to prevent them from voting more than once.

Election results were to be announced by the end of next week, officials said.

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