By Hadi Fornaji,
Benghazi, 8 July:
Mahmoud Jibril’s National Forces Alliance has a ‘net lead’ in Tripoli and Benghazi, according to the leader of one of the coalition’s biggest rivals.
Mohammed Sewan, who leads the Muslim Brotherhood-aligned Justice & Construction party, made the concession earlier today. “The National Forces Alliance achieved good results in some large cities except Misrata. They have a net lead in Tripoli and Benghazi”.
The assessment conforms with the Libya Herald’s own predictions of a NFA victory, which the paper made last night.
In the past few hours, vote counters in Sebratha, a sizeable town to the west of Tripoli, confirmed unofficially to the Libya Herald that the NFA had secured the most votes. The female vote was reportedly the deciding factor, with women coming out in large numbers in favour of Jibril.
As home to some of Libya’s most spectacular Roman ruins, it is also believed that the NFA’s positive reputation for economic openness may have swayed many voters hoping to see Sebratha become a tourist destination.
It has also been reported that major parties including the Nation Party and the National Front failed to pick up a single vote at some polling stations in the town.
Speaking to the news agency AFP earlier today, NFA Secretary General Faisal Krekshi confirmed that he too believed the NFA was on course for victory. “Early reports show that the coalition is leading the polls in the majority of constituencies”, he said.
Should the NFA prevail, there is the added question of which parties, if any, the coalition will choose to work with to form a government. A Libya Herald source at the coalition confirmed that preliminary discussions were being held with the Justice & Construction Party, who are also predicted to do well.
An additional determining factor will be the extent to which individual candidates choose to congregate around the political parties after the elections. Individual candidates will collectively hold 120 seats in the National Conference, as against the political parties’ 80.