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McCain hails Libya's election as first step to democracy.

STORY: Libyans cast their votes in the first free national election in 60 years - saying goodbye to the legacy of Muammar Gaddafi's dictatorship. However in the eastern city of Benghazi, which was the cradle of last year's uprising, protesters stormed a handful of polling stations and publicly burned ballot papers. Still, visiting U.S. Senator John McCain dismisses any suggestion that the election lacks legitimacy. SOUNDBITE: U.S. Senator John McCain saying (English): "Already, we started early at the polls and observed the people who enthusiastically have exercised the fundamental right of people if you are going to have a democracy, and that is fair election. There were some problems in the eastern part of the country, I have been informed that most of those problems have been resolved," he added, referring to reports of unrest in Benghazi. According to authorities 94 percent of stations were running normally. Most Libyans are voting for the first time. They will choose a 200-member assembly, which will then elect a prime minister and a cabinet. Full parliamentary elections are expected to take place next year. Sharon Reich, Reuters

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