- Published on Sunday, 08 July 2012 15:51
- Category: In Other News
This article, written by David D. Kirkpatrick, appeared on The New York Times on July 08,2012
BENGHAZI, Libya — A coalition led by a Western-educated political scientist appeared on Sunday to be beating Islamist parties in Libya’s first election of the post-Qaddafi era, standing apart from an overwhelming Islamist wave sweeping across neighboring Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco in the aftermath of the Arab Spring uprisings.
The preliminary results, characterized by independent monitors and party representatives who witnessed the vote count for a new national assembly, may reflect the relative novelty of political debate here as well as the reputation and tribal connections of the coalition’s founder, Mahmoud Jibril. He is a member of Libya’s most populous tribe, the Warfalla, as well as the former interim prime minister who helped lead the de facto rebel government in Benghazi.
But Mr. Jibril and his coalition also stood out from other opponents of Islamists around the region because they hurled accusations of extremism against those who called for Islamic law. Like the Islamists and almost every other major faction here, Mr. Jibril’s coalition pledged to make Islamic law a main source of legislation, though not the only one.
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