Part of a poster published by the Libyan Electoral Commission
Campaigning for the country's first national election in more than four decades set for on July 7, started Monday as the eligible candidates, 2,501 independents, and 1,206 associated to the 142 parties, will be vying for a place on the national assembly that will be entrusted with drafting a constitution.
During his 42-year rule, Gaddafi banned direct elections, saying they were bourgeois and anti-democratic. The new assembly will re-draw the autocratic system of rule put in place by the former Libyan dictatorial leader Muammar Gaddafi.
The electoral commission said in a statement during a press conference at the weekend, that candidates will have 18 days to campaign, until July 5, that is two days before the election.
The polls are being held 18 days later than originally planned because of the logistical challenges in a country that is still recovering from last year's revolution.
Eighty of the assembly's 200 seats will go to political parties, with the rest to independent candidates. The assembly will be tasked with overseeing the government, draft a new constitution and schedule a new round of elections in two years' time.
About 80% of eligible voters in Libya, that is, around 2.7 million people, registered by the time stipulated for registration in in May.
The country is currently governed by the National Transitional Council, and a so-called interim government, an unelected body leaders recognised internationally as the country's legitimate leadership.
Campaigning for a general election is something new for the Libyans, and observers are watching if the candidates are able to make full use of these 18 days to put the message across to the people, whether the parties are capable of explaining their electoral programmes to the Libyans who seem to be flourishing in this new found freedom, and what use they will be making of the media, print, and social.
Comment: Electing representatives who due to the influence of money and political considerations become clientists and misrepresent the interests of the people and HARDLY MORE DEMOCRATIC than people REPRESENTING THEMSELVES like in a DIRECT DEMOCRACY a system which Libya had under Gaddafi and many Libyans are used to. REJECT MISREPRESENTATIVE POLITICIANS
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