On July 7th, 2012, the Libyan population experienced their first free and democratic election in more than five decades. There are 2.8 million eligible voters in Libya who were free to elect 200 members of a council whose responsibility will be to draft a new constitution, elect a new prime minister and government and set a time for the election of a new parliament. The transitional government allocated 100 members to be elected from the western region, 60 members from the eastern region and 40 members from the southern region.
The allocation of such members was not accepted, especially in the eastern region of ben Gazi, which was the center of the revolution that led to the collapse of the previous dictator M. Gadhafi. The people in that region resented the decision of the transitional government because it gave them less numbers than those in the western region. For that reason, more than 100 voting precincts were destroyed out of 1554 precincts nationwide.
The higher election committee pointed out that due to the lack of poor security in the country, they have placed 13,000 soldiers in charge of protecting voting places nationwide.
It was reported on July 8, 2012 that 60% of the illegible voters have exercised their rights. According to the projected result of the election, the United National political parties under the leadership of Mahmoud Jibreel emerged as the major winner against the Muslim Brothers.
The result of the first Libyan election reflects a very important political trend which is the opposite of the trend that took place in Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco, where political Islamic parties emerged as the winners in the recent political elections.
During the last four decades of Gadhafi’s authoritarian regime, political parties were not allowed to be formed.