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Libyans head to landmark national congress election

07-07-2012 16:01 BJT Special Report:Libya in Post-Gaddafi Era |

TRIPOLI, July 7 (Xinhua) -- Libyans headed to polls Saturday for a national congress election, which is hailed as a milestone on the path toward democracy after the toppling of Libyan former leader Muammar Gaddafi in a months-long civil war.

A man casts his ballot at a polling station in Tripoli, Libya, July 7, 2012. Libyans headed to polls Saturday for a national congress election, which is hailed as a milestone on the path toward democracy after the toppling of Libyan former leader Muammar Gaddafi in a months-long civil war. (Xinhua/Hamza Turkia)

Since 8:00 a.m. local time (0600 GMT), voters started to cast their ballots in polling stations across the North African country. The voting is set to end at 20:00 p.m. local time (1800 GMT) on Saturday.

The 200-member congress is expected to replace the ruling National Transitional Council to supervise the government and oversee experts to draw up a new constitution.

Two-fifths of the seats in the new parliament will be reserved for political parties and groups that were banned under Gaddafi's rule, according to the final draft of the country's election law published early February. The rest will be allocated to independent candidates.

A total of 374 political entities and 2,639 individual candidates are contesting in the election.

According to statistics from the country's High National Electoral Committee, Libya has 3.4 million eligible voters out of a total population of over 6 million. More than 2.7 million people, or about 80 percent of the eligible voters, have registered to go to the polls.

Editor:Zhang Jianfeng |Source: Xinhua

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