NATO welcomes Libyan election results

July 18, 2012 at 9:49 AM
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BRUSSELS, July 18 (UPI) -- Elections in Libya represent "an impressive step forward" in the country's post-revolutionary transition to democracy, the NATO secretary-general said.

The Libyan election commission this week announced the National Forces Alliance of former interim Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril won roughly 20 percent of the open seats in the 200-member assembly. The Muslim Brotherhood's Justice and Construction Party secured about 8 percent of the seats, taking second place, reports al-Jazeera.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. UPI/Brian Kersey
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In a congratulatory message, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen praised the estimated 2 million Libyans who took to the polls in the first democratic election in a generation.

"This election marks an impressive step forward in Libya's transition to democracy, after over 40 years of dictatorship," he said in a statement.

NATO-led forces enforced a no-fly zone in Libya last year to protect civilians from attacks by fighters loyal to Moammar Gadhafi.

Demonstrators ransacked election headquarters in the eastern part of the country ahead of the early July vote. Some parts of Libya since Gadhafi's death have called for more autonomy. Opposition groups closed three of Libya's oil ports the weekend of the vote.

Jibril stepped down Oct. 23, three days after Gadhafi died and two months after rebel forces captured Tripoli.

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