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Libya takes first steps to democracy

01 November 2011, 11:20

Tripoli - Abdel Rahim al-Kib, an academic, has been elected as Libya's prime minister in a public vote carried out by the members of the ruling National Transitional Council, an AFP correspondent reported.

Kib, who hails from the Libyan capital Tripoli, came out in front in the battle for the post ahead of four other candidates in the first round, garnering 26 out of 51 votes.

The little-known academic who specialises in electrical engineering was due to give a news conference soon after the ballot for the post.

The chair of the NTC, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, was the first of the council members to cast his ballot.

"This vote proves that Libyans are able to build their future," Abdel Jalil said after voting.

NTC official Mustafa al-Mana said 52 members of the council had been asked to choose from five remaining candidates after the withdrawal of five others, including NTC vice president Abdel Hafez Ghoka.

Among the other main candidates were interim oil minister Ali Tarhuni and Idriss Abu Fayed, former opponent of Muammar Gaddafi who had been imprisoned under the ousted dictator's regime, and Ali Zidan, an NTC representative in Europe.

The NTC, having declared the country's "liberation" three days after the October 20 capture and killing of Gaddafi, launched a roadmap to a new Libya with a 20-month countdown to a general election.

Under the roadmap, the NTC is to hand over power to an elected assembly within eight months and a constitution is to be drawn up.



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