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 4:06 PM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
ITN's Dan Rivers reports from the hospital where those injured by an attack in Gaza were being treated.
updated 2:08 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
Flight attendants are wearing black ribbons to show solidarity with fallen colleagues in "a tribute to those who never made it home."
updated 4:16 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
Hamas: "Lift the siege." Israel: "End the rockets." The two sides' demands will be difficult to reconcile.
updated 4:04 AM EDT, Wed July 23, 2014
When the Costa Concordia and its salvage convoy finally depart Giglio, the residents will breathe a sigh of relief -- and shed a tear.
updated 4:53 PM EDT, Tue July 22, 2014
CNN's Richard Quest speaks to Malaysia Airlines' Hugh Dunleavy about how the airline industry needs to react to MH17.
updated 4:42 PM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
From Maastricht to Melbourne, and baroque theaters to block-long warehouses, these stores make bookish travelers look stylish.
updated 2:57 PM EDT, Wed July 23, 2014
A nun, an AIDS researcher, an athlete and a family traveling on summer vacation. These were some of the victims aboard MH17.
updated 8:21 PM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
Prince George isn't your average one year old. He started walking before he was one. Oh, and, he's going to be king -- of 16 countries.
updated 2:21 AM EDT, Fri July 18, 2014
In an ambitious plan to upgrade urban India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi says he will build 100 "smart cities" across the country.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
updated 9:17 AM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
After just one day of competition, a new sport has emerged at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow: snapping selfies with the Queen.
ADVERTISEMENT