Libya opens registration for assembly vote

Libya on Tuesday opened voter and candidate registration centres, in another step towards its goal of holding elections for a constituent assembly in June.

"Registration for voters and candidates opened today," Nuri Abbar, head of the electoral committee, told AFP.

The vote will mark the first nationwide poll after decades of dictatorship under Moamer Kadhafi, who was toppled and killed in an uprising last year.

Abbar said there are 1,350 voter registration centres across Libya, including 220 in the capital Tripoli. Another 13 centres are tasked with registering candidates.

Libya, with a population of 6 million, has 3.4 million eligible voters, he said.

The ruling National Transitional Council, which took power last August, has pledged to hold elections for a constituent assembly in June.

The 200-member assembly is to appoint a panel of experts to draft a constitution which will then be put to a referendum.

A full 120 of the assembly's seats are reserved for independent candidates while political associations are to contest the remaining 80.

Dozens of parties have been created in recent months with the intention of running in the elections.

Since the start of the so-called Arab Spring, elections in the region have benefited Islamists.

Similar outcomes are expected in Libya, whose officials emphasises its moderate all-Muslim identity.

(Source: AFP)

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