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Electoral Commission calls for tight security during Wednesday's vote

Tripoli, Libya - The Libyan Electoral Commission has urged Parliament, the Government and relevant departments to ensure security during voting scheduled for Wednesday in centres where polling was suspended last Thursday because of violence.

The President of the High Electoral Commission, Nouri al-Abaar, on Tuesday told journalists in Tripoli that 'the General National Congress (Parliament) has not met the demands of the various (groups) that blocked polling in the two constituencies in Oubari and Marzouk as well as in voting centers in Kufra'.

The election is to choose members of the committee charged with drafting the country's new constitution.

Mr al-Abaar added that the government did not provide the necessary security in these polling stations or in cities of Tokar and Derna .

'The role of the electoral commission is limited to preparing a technical environment conducive to the holding of elections and to providing logistical means for supervision purposes,' said Mr. al-Abaar.

He added that all stakeholders and partners should also make efforts to guarantee a smooth vote.

The Commission said 81 polling centres in electoral constituencies located in the southern and eastern parts of the country had security threats issued against them and as a result, voting was suspended in these centres last Thursday.

It said: 'If the election could not be held in polling centres on the day fixed, the Commission shall be given 24 hours to determine and announce a new date, not later than one week, for the holding of a new poll.'

About 500,000 voters participated in the elections. They voted in 1,496 out of a total of 1,611 centres. Thirty-four were not open because of a the boycott of the Amazigh tribe, while others have been subjected to threats.

The Commission said 649 candidates are vying for the 60 seats of the committee charged with drafting the country's new constitution.

Each of the regions - East, West and South - will have 20 seats. Five seats are reserved for women and six for cultural and linguistic minorities (Toubou, Tuareg and Amazigh).

Pana 26/02/2014