Ballot papers were being counted on Saturday night as Libyans across the country celebrated the first free elections in 42 years.
In the capital Tripoli and in Benghazi, voters set off fireworks and cheered after polling stations closed on Saturday night.
The election—the first after the deposition of former dictator Moammar Gadhafi—was largely peaceful, although there were incidents of violence in the east of the country.
On Friday, a helicopter carrying election officials was fired upon by unknown gunmen near Benghazi, while on Saturday, militants firebombed several polling stations in the east of the country.
The elections were for the 200-seat General National Congress, a body which will oversee the drafting of the country’s new constitution.
There were over 140 parties and around 3,000 candidates competing in the election. As of last week, 2.9 million Libyans, or 80 percent of eligible voters, were registered to vote.
The electoral commission said on Saturday the turnout was around 60 percent, the BBC reported.
The election was praised by U.S. President Barack Obama. “On behalf of the American people, I extend my congratulations to the people of Libya for another milestone on their extraordinary transition to democracy,” he said.
International election observers also commended the country on its quick transition from autocratic government to democracy.
“No election is ever easy, and for a country that has been so isolated for so long, is building state institutions so quickly, it’s remarkable how much progress has been made in 11 months,” said John Stremlau from the U.S.-based Carter Center, in comments to Voice of America.
“Truly extraordinary. It should be a source of pride to the Libyan people; they have come so far so quickly,” said Stremlau.Carter Center observers came from eight countries to observe the elections: Canada, Cyprus, Egypt, Germany, Iraq, Sudan, the United States, and Yemen.