Libya's Jibril has vote lead, Islamists say not beaten

By REUTERS
July 11, 2012 15:23

 
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TRIPOLI - Libya's wartime prime minister Mahmoud Jibril extended his lead in landmark elections, vote tallies showed on Wednesday, but Islamist rivals predicted their score would be boosted by allied independent candidates.

Jibril's National Forces Alliance headed for a landslide win in the eastern district covering the towns of Tobruk and Derna, seen as a hardline Islamist stronghold, suggesting his support was broader than urban areas such as the capital Tripoli.

However Western-educated Jibril's gains do not automatically translate into dominance of the 200-seat national assembly which is set to choose a prime minister and cabinet before setting the stage for full parliamentary elections in 2013.

Candidates on party lists have only been allotted 80 seats, meaning they will be outnumbered by independent candidates whose allegiances are hard to pin down.

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