Libya puts back election date by 18 days

Libya's first election in more than half a century will take place 18 days later than planned because of logistical challenges, the electoral commission has said .

The election will now take place on 7 July. Nuri al-Abbar, head of the electoral commission, said crucial preparations for the election – including voter registration and vetting candidates to make sure they had no links to Muammar Gaddafi – had run over schedule, making it impossible to hold the vote on the original date of 19 June.

The last time Libya held a multi-party national election was in 1952, under the reign of King Idris.

The election set for next month is for a national assembly whose job it will be to oversee the government, draft a new constitution and schedule a new round of polls. Libyans began registering for the election in May and about 2.7 million people, or 80% of eligible voters, have put their name down to participate.

In the assembly, 80 of the 200 seats will go to political parties and the rest to independent candidates.

(Source: The Guardian, Al-Jazeera)

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