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Libya elections held for the first time in 50 years. Why so long?
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Libya had been under dictatorship rule for 50 years!

42 years were under the one man rule of Mr Moammar Gadhafi’s

    Libya has not held an election for a long while. But this all changed 2 weeks ago. On 7th July this year, the Libyans voted for their government for the first time, in almost 50 years! awesome

The results were out on 17th July. No one party seems to have a clear win- so it probably means that more than one party will join hands to form a government.
Over 140 political parties participated in the Libya elections! The two main leading groups were the Justice and Construction Party (JCP) and the National Forces Alliance (NFA) Who's leading? The NFA.  They have a total of 39 seats, while JCP gained 17 seats.

Mahmoud Jibril from NFA Libya

Libyans celebrated this first democratic election. Because for the first time, they got to decide who runs their country. While there is still a long way to go before peace is restored, this is a milestone for Libya. It is certainly a step closer towards a more democratic future.
Want to read the full story? (You haven't read even half the story)? Why did Libya not have an election in so many years? Who is Moammar Gadhafi? What is a Civil War? And why is election in a country like Libya such a big deal? What is the division of election seats? 
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Libya- a look into the recent history: There were no elections at all in the past. This was because Libya was ruled under the dictatorship of Moammar Gadhafi’s one man rule .

Muammar Gaddafi © Wikimedia / James Gordon

What is a dictatorship?
A dictatorship is a government under one single person. That person, known as a dictator, holds all the power in a country. The citizens do not have the freedom to choose who governs them.

Muammar Gaddafi © U.S. Navy / Jesse B. Awalt

Muammar Gaddafi ruled the nation since 1969. He became the leader without any official election. In the time of his rule, there were concerns about corruption, human rights and freedom of expression. Political opponents were suppressed (Double click on any word to know the meaning) In another incident- many countries are accusing that Syria under Bashar Al-Assad's rule is also a dictatorship where people's rights are being suppressed. The story on how the change was brought about:

Demonstrations in Bayda, Libya © Wikimedia

Last year, in February 2011, in Libya, a Civil War began.    
A civil war happens when citizens of the same country enters a conflict. The war usually takes place, because a group of people wants a change in government policies.
Some civilians protested by attacking police officers and setting fire to government buildings. The government's security forces reacted- guns and even tanks were on the streets. Events were heavily censored. International journalists were not allowed to cover the event, unless invited by Gaddafi himself. Those who attempted to do so were said to be arrested, or even attacked. But thanks to mobile phones, the world was kept informed. Footage made their way to international media and Youtube. This difficult time of violent unrest lasted 8 whole months. Gaddafi tried to escape from the violence. However, he was captured and killed by the rebel forces. Unfortunately, at least 30,000 Libyans were killed by then. And 9 months later, the nation had its first free and fair election. Mish- The Whiz Kid Mish- The Whiz Kid   Over 140 political parties participated! The two main leading groups were the Justice and Construction Party and the National Forces Alliance. Justice and Construction Party (JCP) is a party of the "Libyan Muslim Brotherhood". The leader is Mohamed Sowan. He used to be a political prisoner, until he was released in 2006.      

© World Economic Forum / Nader Daoud

The National Forces Alliance (NFA) is a party led by Mahmoud Jibril. He served as the Prime Minister of the nation during the Libyan civil war. The Libyans will elect 200 members to form the first elected government - the National Assembly. Of these, 120 go to individual candidates. 80 seats are reserved for political parties. (Already registered? Log in here)

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