7 Jul 2012

Gunmen target voting materials in Libya

4:21 pm on 7 July 2012

On the eve of Libya's first parliamentary election since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi last year, gunmen have fired on a helicopter carrying voting material near the eastern city of Benghazi.

Local officials say an election commission worker on board was killed, but the helicopter managed to land safely.

The attack comes amid growing unrest in eastern Libya, where former rebel fighters have shut down at least three oil exporting terminals and are urging a boycott of the vote.

Many people are angry that they have been allotted only 60 seats in the 200-seat assembly, the BBC reports.

Under the system devised by the outgoing National Transitional Council (NTC), which led the campaign against Gaddafi, 100 seats are allocated to the west and 40 to the south.

The poll has already been postponed once before.

Around 2.9 million people are eligible to vote for the 3,700 candidates standing for the new General National Congress, in Libya's first national vote since Colonel Gaddafi was toppled in October 2011 after an eight-month uprising.

The biggest of the myriad political parties taking part in the election is the Justice and Construction Party, made up mostly of Muslim Brotherhood members.