Defying all predictions, Libyans voted overwhelmingly for liberal political parties instead of the Islamists. While final results have not been announced, Mahmoud Jibril’s National Forces Alliance (NFA) has taken the lead, according to early election results.
The NFA is a loose coalition of some 60 smaller parties, based mainly in Tripoli, and over two dozen civil-society groups that have sprung up in Libya over the last 13 months. Jibril, an American-educated strategist, was the war-time prime minister and is considered to be the architect behind the opposition government led by the National Transitional Council, which represented the rebels. He headed the opposition’s executive bureau from March to October 2011.