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Protesters disrupt voting in eastern Libya: Officials

Voting in eastern Libya is disrupted as protesters force polling stations in Ajdabiya to close and federalism supporters in the south-east prevent a plane carrying polling material from taking off

AFP , Saturday 7 Jul 2012
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Protesters in eastern Libya calling for greater representation for their region forced the closure of several polling stations in Saturday's voting to elect a new national assembly, officials said.

Some voting centres were shut in the eastern city of Ajdabiya, where a depot containing electoral material was torched earlier this week, an electoral official in Benghazi told AFP.

Another official said voting was disrupted at oasis towns in southeastern Libya, including Jalo and Ojla, after federalism supporters prevented a plane carrying polling material from taking off.

And Abdeljawad al-Badin, spokesman of the self-appointed Cyrenaica Council, said voters in Quba, near the town of Derna, were boycotting the electoral process altogether.

In Tripoli, a senior electoral official confirmed there had been some incidents in the east but dismissed reports that the vote could be delayed in those areas, stressing that they were working towards a solution.

"Ninety-two percent of voting centres are open," he said.

Interim leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil, who voted in his eastern home town of Al-Bayda, said the situation there was "excellent." He expressed hope for a successful vote and hailed as a martyr an electoral worker killed on Friday.

"We hope that our brothers in Benghazi will stay away from such problems and that the voting will go ahead as planned," he told AFP, referring

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