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Libya national assembly elects Gaddafi opponent for interim president

Libya's newly empowered General National Congress elected Mohamed al-Megaryef as interim president on Friday. Al-Megaryef, a long time opponent of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi [BBC obituary; JURIST news archive], was elected by a vote of 113 to 85 [Bloomberg report]. This is the latest in the transitional period that began with the National Transitional Council of Libya (NTC) [official website, in Arabic; JURIST news archive] handing over power to the elected assembly [JURIST report] earlier this week. Al-Megaryef will serve as interim president while the assembly selects a prime minister, which will happen in 30 days, and during the constitution writing panel, which will take place in 60 days.

The national assembly was elected [CFR report] last month. The draft of the electoral law was finalized in February after the earlier version was revised [JURIST report] to address criticisms of the public. The finalized law provided for 20 percent of the 200 seats to be reserved for women, double the number proposed in the earlier version. The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) [official website] welcomed the new electoral law [JURIST report], commenting that the country is coming closer to being a democratic society.

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