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Libya to vote on new constitution before February

BANGHAZI, Libya — The chairman of Libya’s elections commission say the beleaguered North African nation will hold a referendum on a new constitution before the end of February.

Thursday’s announcement by Emad Al-Sayeh in the capital Tripoli signals Libya’s first concrete step toward restoring unity and political stability after years of turmoil and violence that followed the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

It followed last month’s adoption by a parliament in eastern Libya of an election law that would govern the referendum and future votes.

A 60-member panel drafted the constitution and submitted it to Parliament in August.

Al-Sayeh warned the referendum could be delayed if the election commission did not receive security guarantees and funds.

The commission’s Tripoli offices were attacked by Islamic militants in May, killing 14 people.