Islamists Behind in Libya Election

Early results put Jibril's moderate coalition in the lead
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 9, 2012 12:12 AM CDT
Updated Jul 9, 2012 3:20 AM CDT
Islamists Behind in Libya Election
Libyans hold up their ink-marked fingers that shows they have voted as they celebrate in Martyrs' Square in Tripoli.   (AP Photo/Abdel Magid Al Fergany)

(Newser) – It will be at least a few days before final results from Libya's first election in more than 40 years are in, but early results suggest that a coalition of moderate, Western-leaning groups is ahead of its Islamist rivals. If the alliance led by former rebel prime minister Mahmoud Jibril does manage to defeat the Muslim Brotherhood's bloc, it will mark a shift away from Islamism that stands in contrast to other Arab Spring nations and reflects the different political dynamics in Libya, where the Brotherhood sometimes cooperated with Moammar Gadhafi's regime, the AP notes.

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"Anyone with past ties with old regime is hated, even despised," a pro-Islamist Libyan political analyst says. "Any political names associated with the regime are immediately politically burnt by that association." Islamists had predicted their parties would win up to 60% of the seats, but after Saturday's vote, the leader of a party founded by the Brotherhood said it expected to win less than a quarter of the 200 seats up for grabs, reports the New York Times. (Read more Arab Spring stories.)

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