Tunisian president hails Libya election

AFP , Sunday 8 Jul 2012

Tunisia's president congratulate Libya interim leader on the first democratic election since the collapse of Muammar Gaddafi regime

Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki on Sunday hailed the historic and largely peaceful elections in neighbouring Libya, during a phone call to Libya's interim leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil.

Marzouki congratulated the president of the National Transitional Council "and all the Libyan people on the occasion of the elections that took place yesterday (Saturday) in an atmosphere that was mostly calm and saw a strong showing at the polling stations," his office said.

He "expressed his total support for the process of transition in Libya and his absolute confidence that Libya will be successful in building democratic institutions."

Libyans on Saturday voted for a General National Congress, a 200-member legislative assembly which will steer the country through a transition period.

It was the first free national election in decades, coming eight months after the ouster of long-time strongman Mummar Gaddafi, and the electoral commission put the turnout at more than 60 percent.

Abdel Jalil for his part noted that the changes in Libya were "a confirmation of the success of the Tunisian revolution," the first in the Arab Spring that led to regime change in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen.

He also assured his Tunisian counterpart that the former Libyan premier Baghdadi al-Mahmudi, who was controversially extradited from Tunisia to Libya to face justice, would receive a "fair trial" and that he was committed to ensuring his physical and moral well-being.

Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali caused a political crisis last month by ordering Mahmudi's transfer to Tripoli without the consent of Marzouki, who has expressed doubts about how Gaddaf's last premier will be treated in Libya.

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