Saturday Jul 07, 201202:11 PM GMT
Libyan protesters prevent voting in 101 centers
Libyan protesters demanding greater representation gather around burnt ballot boxes and electoral material outside a polling station in the eastern city of Benghazi on July 7, 2012.
Libyan protesters demanding greater representation gather around burnt ballot boxes and electoral material outside a polling station in the eastern city of Benghazi on July 7, 2012.
Sat Jul 7, 2012 2:10PM
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Some of the polling stations were not opened. Because of security reasons, logistical materials haven't reached them."

Nuri al-Abbar, chairman of the Libyan electoral commission

Acts of sabotage have prevented more than 100 polling stations from opening in eastern Libya, while hundreds of protesters burned ballots in the country’s first post-Gaddafi election.


"Some of the polling stations were not opened. Because of security reasons, logistical materials haven't reached them," the electoral commission's chairman Nuri al-Abbar said on Saturday.

"Ninety-four percent of polling stations opened," he added.

In the eastern city of Benghazi, Gunfire was heard after around 200 protesters filled the city’s major square to demand greater representation for their region.

Armed men also attacked a polling station at Tulay Tala School in southwest Benghazi, destroying the ballot boxes and firing into the air before fleeing.

Libyans historic election on Saturday is the first democratic vote following four decades of rule under slain dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

The nation’s electoral law allocates 60 seats to the east and 102 to the west, while the remaining 38 seats will go to the rest of the country.

However, Libya’s easterners complain of being neglected by the interim leadership in the capital Tripoli and say their oil-rich region should have greater autonomy and more access to financial resources.

An election worker was killed after gunmen targeted a helicopter carrying ballots south of the eastern city of Benghazi on Friday, according to the Libyan army.

On Thursday, the main storage center for election materials in the eastern town of Ajdabiya caught fire with officials suspecting that the incident was an arson attack.

Libyans will elect a 200-seat National Assembly, from among over 2,500 independent candidates and more than 140 political entities.

The elected assembly will then appoint a new prime minister and help draft the new constitution.

PG/JR
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