Libya held its first post-Qadhafi elections on 7 July, with around 140 political groupings and over three thousand candidates competing for seats on the 200-member General National Congress (GNC) that will assume power from the ruling National Transitional Council (NTC). The GNC will be responsible for the task of drafting a new constitution and overseeing future executive and legislative elections. The Tripoli Post reported that voter turnout exceeded 60 percent (i.e., over 1.6 million voters in total).
The outgoing NTC appears to have successfully managed the near-term risks of holding the elections. The EU election assessment team described the 7 July National Assembly elections as "efficiently administered, pluralistic, and overall peaceful", according to David Bachmann, head of the commercial section at the Austrian embassy in Tripoli. None of the major factions or portions of the country boycotted the polls, despite numerous threats to abstain before the elections. A 5 July compromise brought about the quick turnaround passage of a new law stating that the new parliament will no longer be responsible for naming the sixty-member panel that will draft Libya's new constitution, with the panel instead being elected directly by the voters at an unspecified future date. The change staved off a potential boycott of the polls by Cyrenaica residents. The turnout for the elections was reported at 60 percent and government officials stated that 94 percent of voting centres were open.
A major security effort involving more than 38,000 security personnel seems to have largely succeeded in reassuring voters and preventing major abuses at the polling centres. Incidents were relatively few and largely focused in the Cyrenaica region, where opposition to the polls was strongest.
Ian Martin, UN Special Representative for Libya, told the BBC on 8 July that he expects preliminary results to be announced within one week. Mahmoud Jibril's moderate National Forces Alliance, which represents around sixty parties, appears to have received around 60% of the vote, a target previously believed only possible by Islamist parties. According to Reuters on 8 July, Jibril proposed "a national dialogue (for all groups) to come altogether in one coalition, under one banner." A national government including Islamist parties may reduce the risk of post-election backlash.