By Mustafa Dalae
ISTANBUL (AA) - The number of Libyan expatriates registered to vote in elections slated for later this year currently stands at only 2,049 out of some 1.5 million Libyans living abroad, according to the country’s official electoral commission.
On Tuesday, the electoral commission’s website officially began a 30-day voter-registration process for Libyans living overseas.
Analysts believe that, given their large numbers, Libya’s expatriate voters will be crucial to presidential and parliamentary polls slated for the end of 2018.
Libyans living abroad represent about 25 percent of the country’s overall population of some 6.5 million, according to estimates.
The total number of registered voters, both abroad and inside Libya, meanwhile, now stands at about 2.4 million, including 864,000 recent registrants, according to the electoral commission.
The UN hopes the polls will bring a modicum of stability to the country, which has been dogged by chaos since the ouster and death of longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi in a bloody NATO-backed uprising in 2011.