An elderly woman casts her vote on Saturday EPA photo
Zawia, Libya: The voting day in Libya has been unusually calm, secure and celebratory. Participation is very high as millions of men and women headed to voting stations in a relaxed mood with wide smiles on their faces.
Voting itself seems to have generated a genuine feeling of emancipation and liberation with much optimism for the future of Libya.
“It is Eid,” said a security man at one of the voting stations in Judaiem village near Zawia, a major Libyan city 45km west of Tripoli. “People are congratulating each other as they arrive in the voting station some of them wearing new cloths and upbeat,” he added.
Thousands of women are taking part in the voting as they stood in lines at designated entrances in order to separate them from men.
The smoothness of voting process, security and very good organization of the elections comes as a surprise to those who had concerns as whether the elections in Libya would be go undisturbed.
Media reports underlined fears and concerns during the last few weeks that the elections may be marred by fighting and sabotage attempts but today the events on the ground prove the complete opposite as Libyans prove to the world that they have the will and the means to join the list of the democratic and free nations.
Participating in the elections today is viewed by Libyans as the day of reaping the benefits of the long struggle for freedom and democracy after 42 years of a brutal and oppressive rule by the dead dictator Gaddafi.
At Zawia square where the uprising started in February 2011 against Gaddafi’s rule voters came directly from voting stations to celebrate the huge accomplishment making sure that their inked fingers are noticed by others.
“Have you voted yet?” asked one man as he held his ink stained finger up for everyone to see.
At ground zero of the Maidan Mosque in Zawia which had been destroyed by Gaddafi forces that used over 60 tanks to crush the uprising a group of men distributed sweets and drinks to the passersby as they paid thanks to Allah for today’s victory of holding a peaceful and successful elections.
“This is a blessed day thank God. We have come to vote willfully and with all desire to do so,” said a lady. “ al-hamdu liallah [thanks to God] we lived to see this day,” she added.
The success of the voting process in Zawia region is also reflected in other cities and towns all over Libya.