Politics of Libya

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This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Libya

Libya is theoretically governed by a parliament known as the Council of Deputies elected in the June 2014 elections. However the parliament lost its control of the country. The armed forces are involved in an internal conflict between Islamist supporters of the former General National Congress and their opponents led by General Khalifa Haftar. In the current violence, the police are largely ineffectual. Government services are only functioning to a limited degree. This culminated in the dissolution of the UN-backed elected parliament, by Libya's Supreme Court on November 6, 2014. The decision came about, due to the request by a Tripoli parliament member to rule on the constitutionality of the June 25 vote that led to the creation of Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni's government in the North African country. This court ruling renders al-Thinni's government "unconstitutional".[1]

The Council of Deputies took over from the General National Congress, which was elected in July 2012 to serve until January 2014. The General National Congress itself took over from the National Transitional Council (NTC) a body formed during the 2011 Civil War.

Former General National Congress[edit]

The country was previously governed by the General National Congress (GNC), which was elected in July 2012 to serve until January 2014. The executive branch was appointed by the GNC and led by the Prime Minister, while the President of the GNC was the de facto head of state, though not explicitly described as such in the Declaration.[2]

The main responsibility of the GNC was to form a constituent assembly which would write Libya's permanent constitution, for approval by a referendum. The law of Libya is based on sharia.[3]

Changes after the 2011 Civil War[edit]

Political parties were banned in Libya from 1972 until the collapse of the Gaddafi government, and all elections were nonpartisan under law. However during the revolution, the National Transitional Council (NTC), a body formed on 27 February 2011 by anti-Gaddafi forces to act as the "political face of the revolution", made the introduction of multiparty democracy a cornerstone of its agenda. In June 2011, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi said his father would agree to internationally monitored general elections, and would step down if he lost them, but his offer was refused by the rebels and ignored by the UN Security Council.[4]

On 8 March, the NTC issued a statement in which it declared itself to be the "sole representative all over Libya".[5] The council formed an interim governing body on 23 March. As of 20 October 100 countries declared full support to the council by severing all relations with Gaddafi's rule and recognizing the National Transitional Council as the rightful representative of Libya.

On 3 August 2011, the NTC issued a Constitutional Declaration which declared the statehood of Libya as a democracy with Islam as its state religion, in which the state guarantees the rule of law and an independent judiciary as well as civic and human basic rights (including freedom of religion and women's rights), and which contains provisions for a phase of transition to a presidential republic with an elected national assembly and a democratically legitimized constitution by 2013. Vice Chairman Abdul Hafiz Ghoga declared Libya to be "liberated" on 23 October 2011, announcing an official end to the war. Chairman Mustafa Abdul Jalil said Libya would become an Islamic democracy in the wake of Gaddafi's death, though the extent of Islamic law's influence would be determined by elected lawmakers.[6] Ghoga later confirmed that Libya will continue to adhere to all international agreements to which it was signatory prior to the uprising.[7]

On 7 July 2012 an election was held for the General National Congress (GNC) to replace the NTC. There were 2,501 candidates for the 200 seats - 136 for political parties and 64 for independent candidates. About 300 candidates' views were considered unacceptable and removed from candidates list, suspected of sympathizing with the defeated forces of the Jamahiriya. Accreditation centers have also been organized in European cities with larger Libyan communities like Berlin and Paris, in order to allow Libyan nationals there to cast their vote.[8] On 8 August 2012 the NTC officially dissolved and transferred power to the General National Congress.

General National Congress[edit]

The General National Congress was the legislative authority of Libya. It was elected by popular vote on 7 July 2012, and from 8 August replaced the National Transitional Council that had governed the country since the end of the Libyan Civil War.[9][10][11] The General National Congress was composed of 200 members of which 80 were elected through a party list system of proportional representation, and 120 were elected as independents in multiple-member districts.[12][13] On 9 August 2012, Congress members elected Mohamed Yousef el-Magariaf, leader of the National Front Party, as chairman for the GNC. Its term had been extended to the end of 2014.

On 30 March 2014 General National Congress voted to replace itself with new House of Representatives. The new legislature would allocate 30 seats for women, would have 200 seats overall (with individuals able to run as members of political parties) and allow Libyans of foreign nationalities to run for office.[14]

Political parties and elections[edit]

On 7 July 2012, the Legislative body - the General National Congress - was elected.

List of parties with seats in the General National Congress[edit]

List of parties without seats in the General National Congress[edit]

  • Libyan Popular National Movement
  • Democratic Party
  • Homeland Party[16][17]
  • Party of Reform and Development[18]
  • Libyan Constitutional Union
  • Libyan Amazigh Congress
  • Alhaq and Democracy Party of Benghazi
  • Libyan National Congress Party
  • New Libya Party
  • National Unity of Libya Party
  • Freedom and Development Party of Libya
  • The Patriotic Reform Party
  • National Solidarity Party
  • The Libyan National Party
  • Umma Party
  • Justice and Democracy Party of Libya
  • Libya Future Party
  • Libyan Center Party
  • National Democratic Assembly for Justice and Progress
  • Libya Development Party
  • Libyan Universal Party
  • National Democratic Alliance
  • New National Congress Party
  • Tawasul Party
  • Libyan National Democratic Party for Justice and Development
  • Libya Our Home and Tribe Party
  • Libyan Liberation Party
  • Libya for All Party
  • Unity Movement
  • Democratic Youth Party
  • National Democratic Assembly
  • Wefaq Party
  • Libyan National Democratic Assemblage
  • Ansar Al Horria
  • Libyan Unionist Party[19]

International organization participation[edit]

The National Transitional Council has pledged to honour Libya's international commitments until the 2012 elections.

Libya is a member of ABEDA, AfDB, AFESD, AL, AMF, AMU, AU, CAEU, ECA, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, MONUC, NAM, OAPEC, OIC, OPEC, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHRC (suspended), UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, UNWTO and UNHABITAT.

Libyan politics under Muammar Gadaffi[edit]

After originally rising to power through a military coup d'etat in 1969, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's governance of Libya became increasingly centric on the teachings of his Green Book, which he published in the mid-1970s chapter by chapter as a foundation for a new form of government.[20] This jamahiriya, as he called it, was supposedly a form of direct democracy in which power was balanced between a General People's Congress, consisting of 2,700 representatives of Basic People's Congresses, and an executive General People's Committee, headed by a General Secretary, who reported to the Prime Minister and the President. However, Gaddafi retained virtually all power, continuing to operate and control vestiges of the military junta put in place in 1969.

Wanted figures[edit]

Interpol on 4 March 2011 issued a security alert concerning the "possible movement of dangerous individuals and assets" based on United Nations Security Council Resolution 1970, which imposed a travel ban and asset freeze. The warning lists Gaddafi himself and 15 key members of his government:[21]

  1. Muammar Gaddafi: Responsibility for ordering repression of demonstrations, human rights abuses. *Killed October 20, 2011 in Sirte*
  2. Dr. Baghdadi Mahmudi: Head of the Liaison Office of the Revolutionary Committees. Revolutionary Committees involved in violence against demonstrators.
  3. Abuzed Omar Dorda: Director, External Security Organisation. Government loyalist. Head of external intelligence agency.
  4. Major General Abu-Bakr Yunis Jabr: Defense Minister. Overall responsibility for actions of armed forces.
  5. Ayesha Gaddafi: Daughter of Muammar Gaddafi. Closeness of association with government.
  6. Hannibal Muammar Gaddafi: Son of Muammar Gaddafi. Closeness of association with government.
  7. Mutassim Gaddafi: National Security Adviser. Son of Muammar Gaddafi. Closeness of association with government
  8. Al-Saadi Gaddafi: Commander Special Forces. Son of Muammar Gaddafi. Closeness of association with government. Command of military units involved in repression of demonstrations.
  9. Saif al-Islam Gaddafi: Director, Gaddafi Foundation. Son of Muammar Gaddafi. Closeness of association with government. Inflammatory public statements encouraging violence against demonstrators.
  10. Abdulqader Yusef Dibri: Head of Muammar Gaddafi's personal security. Responsibility for government security. History of directing violence against dissidents.
  11. Matuq Mohammed Matuq: Secretary for Utilities. Senior member of government. Involvement with Revolutionary Committees. Past history of involvement in suppression of dissent and violence.
  12. Sayyid Mohammed Qadhaf Al-dam: Cousin of Muammar Gaddafi. In the 1980s, Sayyid was involved in the dissident assassination campaign and allegedly responsible for several deaths in Europe. He is also thought to have been involved in arms procurement.
  13. Khamis Gaddafi: Son of Muammar Gaddafi. Closeness of association with government. Command of military units involved in repression of demonstrations.
  14. Muhammad Gaddafi: Son of Muammar Gaddafi. Closeness of association with government.
  15. Saif al-Arab Gaddafi: Son of Muammar Gaddafi. Closeness of association with government.
  16. Colonel Abdullah Senussi: Director Military Intelligence. Military Intelligence involvement in suppression of demonstrations. Past history includes suspicion of involvement in Abu Selim prison massacre. Convicted in absentia for bombing of UTA flight. Brother-in-law of Muammar Gaddafi.

The NTC has been in negotiations with Algeria and Niger, neighboring countries to which members of the government and defecting military commanders have fled, attempting to secure the arrest and extradition of Al-Saadi Gaddafi and others.[22]

Of these officials, Baghdadi Mahmudi and Abuzed Omar Dorda were arrested,[23][24] while Saif al-Arab Gaddafi was killed by a NATO airstrike during the war,[25] Khamis Gaddafi was killed in action after the fall of Tripoli,[26] and Muammar and Mutassim Gaddafi, as well as Abu-Bakr Yunis Jabr, were killed during the fall of Sirte.[27]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Libyan court rules elected parliament illegal, Aljazeera, 6 November 2014
  2. ^ "Libya leader Magarief vows to disband illegal militias". BBC News. 23 September 2013. Retrieved 6 January 2013. Mr Magarief, the parliamentary speaker who acts as head of state until elections next year. 
  3. ^ http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2013/12/libya-assembly-votes-sharia-law-2013124153217603439.html
  4. ^ "Rebels dismiss election offer, NATO pounds Tripoli". Reuters. 16 June 2011. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  5. ^ "Ferocious battles in Libya as national council meets for first time". NewsCore. 6 March 2011. 
  6. ^ "Libya declares 'liberation,' path to elections, constitution". The Los Angeles Times. 23 October 2011. Retrieved 23 October 2011. 
  7. ^ "Sun, 23 Oct 2011, 17:09 GMT+3 - Libya". Al Jazeera Blogs. Retrieved 23 October 2011. 
  8. ^ High National Election Commission: Press Release 16. June 2012
  9. ^ Michel Cousins (24 July 2012). "National Congress to meet on 8 August: NTC". Libya Herald. Retrieved 26 July 2012. 
  10. ^ "NTC to Transfer Power to Newly-Elected Libyan Assembly August 8". Tripoli Post. 2 August 2012. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  11. ^ Esam Mohamed (8 August 2012). "Libya's transitional rulers hand over power". Boston.com. Associated Press. Retrieved 8 August 2012. 
  12. ^ "Libya elections: Do any of the parties have a plan?". BBC News. 6 July 2012. Retrieved 6 September 2012. 
  13. ^ Margaret Coker (22 June 2012). "Libya Election Panel Battles Ghosts". The Wall Street Journal. 
  14. ^ "Congress votes to replace itself with new House of Representatives". Libya Herald. 30 March 2014. Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  15. ^ "Libyan Election Party List Results: Seats Per Party by District". POMED. Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  16. ^ Beaumont, Peter (3 December 2011), "Political Islam poised to dominate the new world bequeathed by Arab spring", The Guardian, retrieved 31 January 2012 
  17. ^ Spencer, Richard (19 November 2011), "Libyan cleric announces new party on lines of 'moderate' Islamic democracy", The Telegraph, retrieved 31 January 2012 
  18. ^ "First Islamist party emerges in Libya". Hurriyet Daily News. 11 January 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2012. 
  19. ^ Federalists launch political party, 1 August 2012, retrieved 2 August 2012 
  20. ^ Country Profile: Libya (PDF). Library of Congress Federal Research Division (April 2005).  This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  21. ^ Interpol File No.: 2011/108/OS/CCC, 4 March 2011.
  22. ^ "NTC Demands Niger Returns Saadi, Officials from Al Qathafi Regime". Tripoli Post. 16 September 2011. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  23. ^ "Former Libyan PM arrested, jailed in Tunisia". Taipei Times. 24 September 2011. Retrieved 25 September 2011. 
  24. ^ MacLean, William (11 September 2011). "Exclusive: Gaddafi spy chief Dorda arrested". Reuters. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  25. ^ "Saif al-Arab: A playboy known for his hard-living ways". London. The Independent. 2 May 2011. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  26. ^ "Gaddafi's feared son Khamis 'confirmed dead', claims NTC". The Daily Telegraph (London). The Telegraph. 4 September 2011. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  27. ^ El Gamal, Rania (23 October 2011). "Clues to Gaddafi's death concealed from public view". Reuters. Retrieved 23 October 2011. 

External links[edit]