Skip to main content

Amid tensions, polls open in key Libyan elections

By Jomana Karadsheh, CNN
updated 6:24 AM EDT, Wed June 25, 2014
A Libyan woman casts her vote at a polling station in the capital of Tripoli on June 25, 2014.
A Libyan woman casts her vote at a polling station in the capital of Tripoli on June 25, 2014.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The vote takes place against high tensions that have polarized Libya
  • It's the country's second parliamentary election since the fall of the Gadhafi regime
  • The vote is seen by the West as important for Libya's transition to democracy

Tripoli, Libya (CNN) -- Polls opened in Libya on Wednesday in the country's second parliamentary elections since the fall of the Gadhafi regime in 2011.

The vote was announced last month as Libya faced its worst political and security crisis since the revolution.

The voting is taking place at a time of high tensions that have polarized the country into two camps: Islamists and those who oppose them.

2013: Who's behind the Benghazi attack?

More than 1,500 candidates are competing in these elections, but they are running as individuals, not as political parties. In Libya's first vote in 2012, a more liberal political coalition won more seats than the Islamist parties.

The United Nations, the European Union and other Western countries have called for peaceful polling and stressed the importance of these elections for Libya's transition to democracy.

More than 1.5 million Libyans have registered to vote for a new 200 member parliament that will be called the Council of Representatives (COR) and will replace the General National Congress (GNC).

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 9:54 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
A decade on from devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the Red Cross' Matthias Schmale says that the lessons learned have made us safer.
updated 7:24 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
As soon as word broke that "The Interview" will hit some theaters, celebrations erupted across social media -- including from the stars of the film.
updated 1:44 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
Did a rogue hacker -- or the U.S. government -- cut the cord for the regime's Internet?
updated 8:06 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
Monaco's newborn royals, Princess Gabriella and Crown Prince Jacques Honore Rainier, posed for their first official photos with their parents.
updated 12:06 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
Tim Berners-Lee, the man credited with inventing the world wide web, gives a speech on April 18, 2012 in Lyon, central France, during the World Wide Web 2012 international conference on April 18, 2012 in Lyon.
What's next for the Internet? Acclaimed scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee shares his insights.
updated 3:22 AM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
The United States and North Korea have long been locked in a bitter cycle of escalating and deescalating tensions. But the current cyber conflict may be especially hard to predict.
updated 4:00 PM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
A chilling video shows Boko Haram executing dozens of non-Muslims.
updated 6:34 AM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
New planes, new flight tests ... but will we get cheaper airfares?
updated 12:46 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
The killing of two cops could not have happened at a worse time for a city embroiled in a public battle over police-community relations, Errol Louis says.
updated 9:51 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
The gateway to Japan's capital, Tokyo Station, is celebrating its centennial this month -- and it has never looked better.
updated 11:21 AM EST, Sat December 20, 2014
Unicef has warned that more than 1.7 million children in conflict-torn areas of eastern Ukraine face an "extremely serious" situation.
updated 12:01 PM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT