By PNA / Xinhua and U.S. News Agency / Asian
The UN Security Council Tuesday welcomed the July 7 elections in Libya, the first national elections in the North African country in more than 40 years, as “a milestone for Libya’s democratic transition.”
The 15-nation council, in a press statement Tuesday, said the council members “welcome the holding on 7 July 2012 of the first national elections in Libya in nearly half a century. The members of the Security Council consider the elections a milestone for Libya’s democratic transition.”
“The members of the Security Council congratulate the Libyan people on this occasion and commend their peaceful participation in the process, while strongly condemning the isolated incidents of violence that occurred,” the statement said.
Libyans went to the polls on Saturday for their first national congress election after the fall of former leader Muammar Gaddafi.
More than 2.7 million people in Libya, or about 80 percent of the country’s eligible voters, had registered to vote in the election.
The preliminary results of the election are scheduled to be announced on July 11.
Head of Libya’s High National Electoral Commission (HNEC) Nuri al-Abbar said late Saturday at a press conference in Tripoli that 1.2 million out of more than 2.7 million registered voters have cast their ballots.
Abbar said 94 percent of polling stations across the country are running smoothly.
Nevertheless, the polls encountered a series of violent disruptions, mainly in Libya’s eastern region.
“The members of the Security Council commend the Libyan authorities, particularly the High National Electoral Commission of Libya, domestic observers and all others involved, for the well-conducted preparations and management of elections on the day,” the statement said.
“The members of the Security Council appreciate the support provided by the United Nations Support Mission in Libya(UNSMIL) during the electoral process and look forward to UNSMIL’s support to Libya during the next phase of its democratic transition, including the process of preparing a new constitution, promoting rule of law and protecting human rights, restoring public security, countering illicit arms proliferation and coordinating international assistance,” the statement said.
On Sunday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon congratulated the Libyan people on the country’s national congress election held Saturday.
He said “their determination was again on display” as they cast their ballot.
A statement issued by Ban’s spokesman here Sunday said, “The Secretary-General warmly congratulates the Libyan people on the occasion of the country’s first election in nearly half a century.”