Tripoli: Libya's interim authorities said on Monday that they will hand power to a newly elected congress on August 8, less than a year after its fighters overthrew the regime of Muammar Gaddafi.

"We affirm that August 8, 2012 will be the day that power will be transferred peacefully," Saleh Darhoub, spokesman of the outgoing National Transitional Council, told journalists in Tripoli.

Libyans voted on July 7 in the country's first free elections since a popular uprising that escalated into a civil war overthrew the regime of now slain dictator Gaddafi last year.

They elected a 200-member legislative assembly comprising party and independent representatives, which will replace the NTC and lead the country until fresh elections can be held on the basis of a new constitution.

The transition comes against a backdrop of heightened insecurity both in the eastern city of Benghazi and in the capital, where a car exploded amid a market place gunbattle on Monday.


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