Protesters disrupt voting in eastern Libya

2012-07-07 09:51

Benghazi – Protesters in eastern Libya calling for greater representation for their region forced the closure of several polling stations voting to elect a new national assembly, officials have said.

Some voting centres were shut in the eastern city of Ajdabiya, where a depot containing electoral material was torched earlier this week, an electoral official in Benghazi reported.

Another official said voting was disrupted at oasis towns in south-eastern Libya, including Jalo and Ojla, after federalism supporters prevented a plane carrying polling material from taking off.

And Abdeljawad al-Badin, spokesman for the self-appointed Cyrenaica Council, said voters in Quba, near the town of Derna, were boycotting the electoral process altogether.

In Tripoli, a senior electoral official confirmed there had been some incidents in the east but dismissed reports that the vote could be delayed in those areas, stressing that they were working towards a solution.

“Ninety-two percent of voting centres are open,” he said.

Interim leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil, who voted in his eastern home town of Al-Bayda, said the situation there was “excellent.”

He expressed hope for a successful vote and hailed as a martyr an electoral worker killed yesterday.

“We hope that our brothers in Benghazi will stay away from such problems and that the voting will go ahead as planne

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