Mr Sowan anticipated a reaction on the streets by people when they realised the trick, but conceded that much of the appeal of the rivals depended on their focus on Mr Jibril, who was not a candidate and is cagey about what role he sees for himself in the new government, but who commands great respect among people.
Some put his success down to simple brand recognition. As the leader of the transitional council that lobbied for international support of last year's armed rebellion, he is instantly recognisable, and his coalition's posters featured just him, casting a vote, and a picture of a cactus.
Although some reject tribalism in politics, in a country where party democracy is brand-new, the old ties are also important. Mr Jibril is from the Warfalla tribal group, one of the largest in Libya and historically allied with Qaddafi, a factor that may have broadened his appeal among groups who did not support last year's uprising.
(Source: The National)