UN leader praises Libya vote

2012-07-09 14:11

New York - UN leader Ban Ki-moon called on Sunday for Libya's new leaders to govern in a spirit of "justice and reconciliation" as he hailed the country's first elections since the downfall of Muammar Gaddafi.

Ban said in a statement released by his spokesperson's office that Saturday's voting had been "well-conducted and transparent" even though some Libyans had "faced threats to their security".

Libyans voted for a General National Congress, a 200-member legislative assembly which will steer the country through a transition period. Turnout was above 60%, the electoral commission said.

No official results have been announced but Ban said he hoped whoever wins and takes on the task of writing a new constitution "will do so in a spirit of inclusion, justice and reconciliation among all Libyans".

"Last year, thousands of Libyans sacrificed their lives or suffered lasting injury in order to win the right of the Libyan people to build a new state founded on human dignity and the rule of law," Ban said.

Early polling by political parties put a coalition led by Mahmoud Jibril, the head of a rebel government that played a key role in the fight against Gaddafi last year, in the lead.

The UN has a political mission in Libya helping the government and Ban said the mission was ready to work with the new leaders.