Megarif elected as Libya's interim president


Libya's ruling national assembly picked Mohammad Yousuf Maqrif (C), leader of the National Front party, as its president on August 9, 2012 in Tripoli.


Mahmud Turkia

Libya's national assembly elected Mohammed el-Megarif as its president, according to FirstPost World

The former opposition leader won 113 out of 200 possible votes. His opponent, Ali Zidan, took 85, according to Reuters

"This is democracy. This is what we have dreamt of," Zidan told Reuters.

"[Magarief] is a political personality and everybody knows him," said Othman Sassi, a former National Transitional Council official. "He has very good experience to lead congress and the Libyan democratic state."

Giuma Attaiga was elected as deputy to Magarief.

Thursday's election came after Libya's transitional council officially relinquished power to the assembly. The assembly was elected last month. It's Libya's first free election in 60 years, according to Voice of America

Megarif now heads the National Front party and the new Congress. They will elect a prime minister and institute parliamentary elections. They will also draft a new constitution.

“I am very, very happy. This is a big responsibility,” Megarif told Reuters on Thursday.