» By ballot or by bullet: Threats of militia violence are the only thing expected to lower the Libyan voter turnout in their first major democratic move since Muammar Gadhafi was overthrown. In the U.S., meanwhile, voting restriction laws have been passed in over a dozen states, which might make 5 million eligible voters’ trips to the ballot box much harder this November.
» Not without some controversy: A notable Islamist figure in the country, Rachid Ghannouchi, was heckled as he came out of the voting booth today. “You are a terrorist and an assassin! Go back to London,” one shouted. Ghannouchi, the leader of the moderate Ennahda party, spent over two decades in Britain, exiled from the country where he was once imprisoned for his political views. He returned earlier this year, and his party is expected to do well today.
Now I am happy that my son’s death has given the chance to get beyond fear and injustice. I’m an optimist, I wish success for my country.Manoubia Bouazizi, mother of notable Tunisian self-immolator Mohamed Bouazizi • Discussing her son’s death and the spark for democracy it provided both in her own country but throughout northern Africa and the Middle East. Tomorrow Tunisia holds its first democratic election after the toppling of Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali ten months ago. (Ben Ali is now in exile in Saudi Arabia.) The Islamist Ennahda party, banned while Ben Ali was in power, is expected to garner the most votes, but not without controversy due to the long-encouraged secular culture in the country. It’ll be interesting to see what happens next. source (via • follow)