- Published on Sunday, 08 July 2012 03:49
This article, written by Andrew Gilligan, appeared on the Telegraph on July 07,2012
By 6.45, more than an hour before polling began, the queue had already started to form. As the door swung open on the first 60 expectant Libyans, a group of women were yodelling in excitement.
"I am an old man, I can hardly move," said Abdullatif Ibrahim Ghabsi. "But I am so optimistic, I forgot my pains and came."
Mr Ghabsi is so old – 83 – as to be that rarity, a Libyan who can remember the last election. It was in 1964, when a new band called the Beatles were in the British charts.
Flanked by an honour guard of grandchildren, he marked his ballot paper and slipped it confidently through the ballot box slot.
They showed the clerks their polling cards, had their signatures checked against their original registrations, and were handed their precious, foot-long square of blue paper. They stood looking at it, turning it over in their hands, before being gently guided by officials to a voting booth.
It is a fair bet that no British voter ever goes to vote carrying the national flag, complete with flagpole. They do here. At this polling station, in the Tripoli satellite town of Janzour, many had dressed up in their best clothes for the day.
READ MORE AT The Telegraph