Despite violence that left at least several dead, numerous gun battles, allegations of voter fraud, dozens of polling places unable to operate, mass protests, militias running wild, and whole regions still in chaos, Western governments and the United Nations — largely responsible for the recent “regime change” that killed dictator Moammar Gadhafi and thousands of innocent civilians — celebrated political elections in Libya on Saturday, July 7 as a success. Meanwhile, multiple armed factions are still threatening to unleash full-blown civil war amid ongoing battles all across the chaos-stricken nation.
Less than half of the estimated 3.5 million Libyans eligible to vote actually turned out for the elections, despite reports that some 80 percent had registered. But that was just a minor hiccup compared to everything else. The day before elections began, for example, gunmen described by the Western-backed regime as "enemies of the revolution" shot down a helicopter over Eastern Libya carrying voting materials. At least one election commission worker was killed.
The previous day, armed militants seeking to have the elections cancelled attacked voting officers and shut down several oil refineries in Eastern Libya. Apparently they were upset about the the new government's distribution of power between various regions in Libya. In reality, however, much of the coercive power in Libya remains divided up between the rival militias and warlords who continue to dominate vast swaths of the nation.
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Photo of Libyan voters display ID cards during elections July 7: AP Images