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Council of elders elected in eastern Libya
Council of elders elected in eastern Libya, a step toward federalism some want amid unrest
By ESAM MOHAMED
Associated Press
2014-04-13 10:42 PM

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) -- State television in eastern Libya has announced the results of elections for a council of elders, a significant step toward establishing a federal system in the country.

Abdel-Jawad al-Badeen, a federal activist and leader of the Malik militia, was elected head of the council representing the Eastern Cyrenaica region Sunday. The council also included members from the Tebu tribe, a group that was historically marginalized under longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

Cyrenaica includes the country's second largest city, Benghazi.

The council called for a referendum vote on a federal system, as well as the restoration of the monarchy, saying it would stabilize the country. Libya's former ruler, King Idris, was overthrown by Gadhafi in 1969.

Libya's oil-rich east has struggled for greater autonomy since Gadhafi's fall in 2011.

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