Libyans will vote in the nation's first free elections since 1952, on July 7, with the hope that the creation of a new government will put an end to the tribal warfare and rival militias which have brought unrest to post-Gaddafi Libya.
The outcome of the July 7 elections will create a government to replace the unelected National Transitional Council (NTC) which has ruled Libya since the uprising of last year. During its time in office the NTC has passed a number of troubling laws including one which makes it an offence to disparage the rebel uprising, whilst protecting rebels who engaged in violence against Gaddafi supporters.
According to Arab News hard-line Islamist parties are tipped to do well in the elections, particularly the Justice and Construction offshoot of Libya’s Muslim Brotherhood, and al-Watan, the party led by former leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) Abdel Hakim Belhaj.
Interestingly Belhalj is often considered to be a CIA plant, yet he accuses the CIA, along with M16 and the British government, of involvement in his rendition to Libya, where he claims he was tortured in Gaddafi's prisons.
According to Aljazeera, armed militias could pose a threat to free elections in Libya by creating disruptions to prevent their opponents from reaching the polls.
If the elections are allowed to proceed to a free vote then the NTC will be replaced with the General National Congress, which will be tasked with restoring security and law to Libya, no easy task against a background of ever increasing violence.