by Ray Fleming

While a three-cornered fight over the legitimacy of its elected parliament continues in Egypt between the elected President, the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Council of Armed Forces, its neighbour Libya held mostly peaceful elections last weekend in accordance with plans drawn up last year and early results are expected daily. Libyans voted for a parliament of 200 members which will appoint a temporary government to oversee the drafting of a new constitution in preparation for a full parliamentary election in 2013. Preliminary indications are that the National Forces Alliance led by Mahmoud Jibrit, who has been acting prime minister since the fall of the Gaddafi regime last year, may gain most support but the Muslim Brotherhood's Justice and Construction Party claims that it is also doing well. Most of the independent candidates are unknown but their votes may determine which party eventually takes power.

Libya's oil industry is now producing at pre-revolutionary levels and this has eased the financial crisis the country faced in the aftermath of Gaddafi's fall. Tribal and other tensions still exist as does distrust between the capital Tripoli and Benghazi in the east; some of the militias who fought against Gaddafi's army are still armed and act unpredictably. It is not surprising that Libya is still in a fragile state after 40 years of brutal dictatorship and its sudden and violent end.

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