TRIPOLI, Libya – Libyans were voting on Wednesday in a legislative election the authorities hope will end political turmoil and deadly violence that has gripped the African country since the ouster of former ruler Moamer Qaddafi.
Voters in Tripoli took advantage of a public holiday called for the election, trickling in to cast ballots in the capital where security was tight around polling stations. “Every Libyan citizen is asking for comfort, safety and stability. Libyans want a well-built state like the rest of the developed world," said Mohammed Akila, a Tripoli resident.
The heavily armed rebels who ousted and killed the former ruler have carved out their own fiefdoms in the deeply tribal country, some even seizing oil terminals and crippling crude exports from a sector key to government revenues. There are hopes a new General National Congress, the parliament, will work to resolve the power struggle between liberals and Islamists that has stymied efforts to reform Libya and brought it to its knees.