General People's Committee
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politics and government of
Libya under Muammar Gaddafi
The General People's Committee (Arabic: اللجنة الشعبية العامة, al-lajna ash-sha'biyya al-'āmma), often abbreviated as the GPCO, was the executive branch of government during the era of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. It served as the intermediary between the masses and government leadership and was composed of a general secretary and twenty secretaries of some 600 local "basic popular congresses" (BPC), GPCO members were elected by the country's parliament, the General People's Congress, and had no fixed terms.
It was the rough equivalent of the cabinet in many republics, constitutional democracies, and constitutional monarchies, as well as the Executive Board of the rival National Transitional Council, which ultimately replaced the jamahiriya as Libya's dominant force as a result of the Libyan Civil War. The GPCO was scattered by the fall of Tripoli in 2011, with some of its members fleeing into exile, some becoming prisoners of war, and some remaining in Libya.
In March 1977, the General People's Congress (GPC) adopted the "Declaration of the Establishment of the People's Authority" and proclaimed the Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. The people exercise authority through the people's committees, people's congresses, professional associations, and the GPC. Elections were direct, and all voting consisted of a show of hands or a division into yea-or-nay camps. Suffrage and committee or congress membership were open to all Libyan citizens eighteen years of age or older in good legal and political standing.
In theory, the residents of each zone elected their own people's committee. Similarly, the residents of each branch municipality elected their own Basic People's Congress (BPC). The BPC members then elected a chairman and a five-member branch or municipal people's committee. The General People's Congress was made up of the chairmen of the BPC, the branch and municipal people's committees, and representatives of the people's committees for unions, professional associations and student unions. The GPCO replaced the former Council of Ministers, its members being referred to as secretaries rather than ministers. Legislative and executive authority was vested in the GPC. This body, however, delegated most important authority to its general secretary and General Secretariat and to the GPCO. Muammar Gaddafi, as general secretary of the GPC, remained primary policy maker. As a part of a decentralisation program undertaken during September 1988, all GPCO secretariats, except those responsible for foreign policy and information, were relocated away from Tripoli. In early 1993 it was announced that the Secretariat for Foreign Liaison and International Cooperation was to be moved to Ra's Lanuf.
Competences of GPCO
- Implement laws and resolutions issued by the GPC ( مؤتمر الشعب العام ) formulated by the BPC ( المؤتمرات شعبية اساسية ).
- Prepare project proposals and budgets for the General Planning Council.
- Present plans for public projects to the General Planning Council.
- Propose bills, as well as other topics presented to the BPCs.
- Implement and manage strategic projects.
- Monitor BPC committees, institutions and public companies ensuring accordance to BPC decisions.
- Supervise the Great Manmade River project and other investments.
- Issue decisions on organizational structures for the government.
- Encourage foreign investment in Libya and monitor investments abroad.
- Adopt curriculum.
- Issue regulations governing contract work financed from the budget.
- Issue and regulate laws as stipulated by the jurisdiction.
- Establish, consolidate and organize institutions, companies and public works.
- Operational cost of the GPC or BPC.
- Implement laws and resolutions issued by the BPCs drafted in the GPC.
- Invitation to GPCO meetings and monitor implementation.
- Propose bills and other topics presented to the GPCO for approval.
- Conclude treaties, conventions and the international loans (ratified by the BPC).
- Adopt minutes for joint committee meetings, and address questions of international cooperation.
- Name Trustees and BPC members and agencies; public corporations and general assembly members of public companies as determined by executive regulations.
- Authorize international institutions and public companies contracting with foreign companies.
- Investigate the popular committees, and punish them in accordance with existing legislation.
- Work assigned by the GPC, secretariat of the GPCO or, or the GPCO for the traditional.
In January 2007, the General People's Committee consisted of the following members:
1. Ministers in italics are no longer serving.
2. The GPCO was changed in 2007: Ministers of Tourism and Energy were removed.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs includes the following Assistants:
- Muhammad Tahir Sayyala, Assistant Foreign Minister for Cooperation
- Ali Treki, Assistant Foreign Minister for African Affairs
- Muftah Omar Madi, Assistant Foreign Minister for Magharibi Affairs
Other Secretary assistants
- Omaran Hemida Sudani - Assistant Secretary of Public Security (now acting Secretary for Public Security)
- Ashour Khalifa Tribil - Assistant Secretary of Finance
- Basic People's Congress (country subdivision)
- Basic People's Congress (political)
- Direct democracy
- General People's Congress (Libya)
- Human rights in Libya
- Medina Project, Libyan Political System Archived 30 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- A History of Modern Libya By Dirk J. Vandewalle
- Resolution of the General People's Committee No. (86) of (2006) Of Modification of some provisions of the Executive Regulation of Law no. (5) of 14-26 P.B. with regard to Encouragement of Foreign Capital Investment and Stipulation of other Provisions.
- Rashid Khashana, Swiss Info: 1 February 2007
- "Military Leadership". Global Security. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
- "Accounts emerge of Gaddafi's final moments". Al Jazeera. 4 October 2011. Retrieved 20 October 2011.
- Gaddafi forces push rebels back, BBC News, 30 March 2011
- Libya's oil minister defects to 'fight for democracy', The Guardian, 1 June 2011
- "Libya crisis: Gaddafi envoy visited London". BBC. 1 April 2011. Retrieved 8 February 2013.