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International Monitors Praise Libyan Legislative Elections

Libyan High Election Commission workers set ballot boxes from different polling stations as they prepare for the final counting in Benghazi on July 8.
International officials and election monitors have hailed Libya's July 7 National Assembly elections.

Observers with the European Union Assessment Team and the U.S.-based Carter Center praised the vote, saying sporadic incidents of violence do not cast doubt on the validity of the elections.

Preliminary results were expected at any time, but complete official results were not expected to be available for several days.

Turnout was about 65 percent in Libya's first free election in more than half a century.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the "peaceful, democratic spirit" of the vote, and U.S. President Barack Obama said on July 8 he looks forward to working with the new leadership.

A popular uprising last year ended the 42-year rule of strongman Muammar Qaddafi.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP