Libyan election officials said they will announce the final tally from Saturday’s parliamentary voting Wednesday.
Although results were still being tabulated Saturday in a nation that had no experience with exit polling, it appeared that a slate led by Mahmoud Jibril, a former foreign minister and first person to head the Transitional National Council – the self-appointed group that has governed since the fall of Moammar Gadhafi – was the front-runner, according to the Libyan Herald, an independent newspaper.
If that holds, it would be a win for those who want a liberal, more secularly led Libya. Behind him was the Muslim Brotherhood’s party, whose financing and organization were readily apparent. Throughout the capital, its signs dominated a city landscape covered in campaign posters.
Jibril “is well-known internationally. He is educated and he is interested in youth,” Masoud Zeit, 32, an engineer in Tripoli, explained just after voting for his slate.
Jibril’s group – the Alliance of National Forces – is a liberal coalition of 40 political parties, 236 NGOs and 280 independent figures. Jibril himself cannot run on the ballot because election laws prevent members of the interim National Transitional Council from running.
In its political platform, the alliance states that Islamic Shariah law should be the main source of legislation, but adds that the state must respect all religions and sects, including religious rituals of foreigners living in Libya.