Libya’s Sharia Mandate
Libya held its first democratic election on Saturday and the preliminary results show the liberal National Forces Alliance ahead. The alliance isn’t declaring victory just yet, but the lead is definitive enough for two Islamist parties to admit that that the liberals got the most votes. The West shouldn’t get too excited just yet, though. The liberals still support having Sharia Law as a main source of legislation, and if they only get a plurality, the Islamists could still drive the next government.
Voter turnout was above 60 percent. The election will determine the makeup of the new General National Congress, a 200-member body consisting of 80 seats won by political parties and 120 seats won by independent candidates. This assembly will form the next government and oversee the writing of Libya’s new constitution, deciding the role of Sharia Law.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s Libyan party, the Justice and Construction Party, admits that the National Forces Alliance (NFA) will get the most votes. The NFA is ahead in Tripoli and, surprisingly, Benghazi, where unofficial results indicate the liberals took about 70% of the vote. The city of Benghazi was known as an Islamist stronghold from which many jihadists that fought U.S. forces in Iraq came from. The Muslim Brotherhood’s strongest support is coming from the southern part of the country. (...)