General People's Committee

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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 the government of Libya, during the existence of Muammar Gaddafi's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. It served as the intermediary between the masses and government leadership and was composed of the Secretary-General and twenty secretaries of some 600 local Basic People's Congresses (BPC), GPCO members were elected by the country's parliament, the General People's Congress (GPC), 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 in 2011, as a result of the First Libyan Civil War. The GPCO was scattered by the fall of Tripoli, 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 on the Establishment of the Authority of the People" and proclaimed the 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.[1] 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.[2]

Competences of GPCO[edit]

  1. Implement laws and resolutions issued by the GPC ( مؤتمر الشعب العام ) formulated by the BPC ( المؤتمرات شعبية اساسية ).
  2. Prepare project proposals and budgets for the General Planning Council.
  3. Present plans for public projects to the General Planning Council.
  4. Propose bills, as well as other topics presented to the BPCs.
  5. Implement and manage strategic projects.
  6. Monitor BPC committees, institutions and public companies ensuring accordance to BPC decisions.
  7. Supervise the Great Manmade River project and other investments.
  8. Issue decisions on organizational structures for the government.
  9. Encourage foreign investment in Libya and monitor investments abroad.[3]
  10. Adopt curriculum.
  11. Issue regulations governing contract work financed from the budget.
  12. Issue and regulate laws as stipulated by the jurisdiction.
  13. Establish, consolidate and organize institutions, companies and public works.
  14. Operational cost of the GPC or BPC.


  1. Implement laws and resolutions issued by the BPCs drafted in the GPC.
  2. Invitation to GPCO meetings and monitor implementation.
  3. Propose bills and other topics presented to the GPCO for approval.
  4. Conclude treaties, conventions and the international loans (ratified by the BPC).
  5. Adopt minutes for joint committee meetings, and address questions of international cooperation.
  6. Name Trustees and BPC members and agencies; public corporations and general assembly members of public companies as determined by executive regulations.
  7. Authorize international institutions and public companies contracting with foreign companies.
  8. Investigate the popular committees, and punish them in accordance with existing legislation.
  9. Work assigned by the GPC, secretariat of the GPCO, or the GPCO for the traditional.

GPCO ministers[edit]

In January 2007, the General People's Committee consisted of the following members:[4]

Name Ministry Website Start term End term
Mustafa Miftah Bel'id al-Dersi Secretary of the GPCO for Youth and Sports (Minister of Youth and Sports) January 2006
Abu-Bakr Yunis Jabr Secretary of the Libyan General Committee for Defence (Minister of Defence) January 1970[5] killed 20 October 2011[6]
Abd-al-Hafid Mahmud al-Zulaytini Assistant Secretary (Deputy Prime Minister) January 2007
Baghdadi Mahmudi Secretary of the GPCO (Prime Minister) March 2006 fled the country 23 August 2011
Abdel Rahman Shalgham
Moussa Koussa
Minister of Foreign Liaison and International Cooperation 2000
4 March 2009
replaced 4 March 2009
resigned 30 March 2011[7]
Ehtuish Ehtuish Minister of Health 2000
Tahar al-Hadi Al-Juhaymi Minister of Planning 2006
Ali Abd-al-Aziz al-Isawi Minister of Economy, Trade and Investment January 2007
Ammar Latif Minister of Tourism Office removed
Nuri Daw al-Humaydi Minister of Culture and Information 2006
Mustafa Abdul Jalil Minister of Justice January 2007 resigned 21 February 2011
Muhammad al-Huwayj Secretary of the GPCO for Finance (Minister of Finance) January 2007
Salih Rajab al-Mismari Secretary of the GPCO for Public Security (Minister of Public Security) 2006
Baghdadi Mahmudi Minister of Education 2006 fled the country 23 August 2011
Ali Yusuf Zikri Minister of Industry and Mines January 2007
Abu-Bakr al-Mansouri Minister of Agriculture, Animal Wealth and Marine Resources 2006
Muhammad Abu al-Ujayli Rashid Minister of Health and Environment January 2007
Ibrahim al-Zuruq al-Sharif Minister of Social Affairs January 2007
Agil Husayn Agil Minister of Higher Education January 2007
Muhammad Abu-Ujayl al-Mabruk Minister of Telecommunications and Transport January 2007
Umran Ibrahim Abu-Kra'a Minister of Electricity, Water Resources and Gas January 2007
Muhammad Ali Al-Hwije Minister of Finance January 2007
M'atoog Mohamed M'atoog Minister of Manpower, Training and Operation
Mahmoud Jibril Minister of National Planning Council January 2007
Abdul Rahman Gamudi Minister of General Investment
January 2007
Ali Shamkh Minister of Energy April 2009
Shukri Ghanem Minister of Oil October 2009 defected mid-May 2011,[8]
previously reported (erroneously)
as defecting February 2011[9]
Abdul Fatah Younis Minister of Interior and Army General 2009 defected 22 February 2011

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:

Other Secretary assistants

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Medina Project, Libyan Political System Archived 30 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ A History of Modern Libya By Dirk J. Vandewalle
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ Rashid Khashana, Swiss Info: 1 February 2007
  5. ^ "Military Leadership". Global Security. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  6. ^ "Accounts emerge of Gaddafi's final moments". Al Jazeera. 4 October 2011. Retrieved 20 October 2011.
  7. ^ Gaddafi forces push rebels back, BBC News, 30 March 2011
  8. ^ Libya's oil minister defects to 'fight for democracy', The Guardian, 1 June 2011
  9. ^ "Libya crisis: Gaddafi envoy visited London". BBC. 1 April 2011. Retrieved 8 February 2013.