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Libyan MPs open door for elections

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Independent Newspapers

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Tripoli - Libyan lawmakers approved a new election law on Sunday, paving the way to call general elections later this year.

Last month, the General National Congress (GNC) assembly agreed to hold early elections, in an apparent effort to assuage ordinary Libyans angry over political chaos in the country nearly three years after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi.

Deputies had initially agreed to extend their term after the original mandate ran out on February 7 to allow a special committee time to draft a new constitution but their move sparked protests.

Parliament approved a law to organise new elections. Candidates have to run as individuals, banning parties from drawing up lists. It is now up to the elections commission to set a date.

The GNC is deadlocked between Islamists and nationalists, compounding a sense of chaos as Libya's fledgling army tries to assert itself against unruly ex-rebels, tribal groups and Islamist militants.

Many people in the Opec nation blame mainly the congress infighting for a lack of progress in the transition towards democracy since the overthrow of Gaddafi in 2011. - Reuters


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