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SATURDAY, 19 APR 2014
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Few Libyans register for constitution commission poll
Agence France Presse
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TRIPOLI: Few Libyans have registered to vote for a constitutional commission, official figures showed Tuesday, as the country grapples with growing unrest two years after the toppling of Moammar Gadhafi.

The High National Election Commission's website said only 436,000 Libyans had signed up out of a total electoral list of 3.4 million ahead of a December 21 deadline.

The low level of interest comes despite official calls to register, including a fatwa, or religious decree, issued by the highest religious authority in the Muslim country.

Voters are apparently "not motivated enough to register," said Tarek Metri, who heads the UN mission in Libya.

The cut-off for registration has already been extended several times, while a date for polling has yet to be announced, although Metri said the vote was expected to be held in February.

The voter apathy coincides with persistent insecurity in Libya and the lack of a clear political roadmap two years after the uprising that ended four decades of dictatorship and saw rebels capture and kill Gadhafi.

Metri said political parties were holding UN-brokered discussions aimed at reaching a consensus on a transition in Libya.

The commission tasked with drafting a constitution is to be made up of 60 members, with equal representation for Libya's regions. But the Amazigh minority is boycotting the polls in protest at its alleged marginalisation in the process.

The charter is to cover key issues such as Libya's system of government, the status of minorities and the role of Islamic sharia law.

Libya held its first free vote ever in July 2012 to choose a General National Congress, the country's highest political authority.

The GNC was given an 18-month mandate to steer the country towards general elections after drafting a new constitution.

 
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