First Published: 2013-04-13

 

Libya: Protection of revolution begins with political exclusion

 

Bill banning associates of Gathafi from politics risks inflaming tensions, could see top officials removed from their posts.

 

Middle East Online

By Ibrahim al-Majbari – TRIPOLI

Critics: Law is tailor-made to isolate Jibril

A bill banning associates of former leader Moamer Gathafi from politics risks inflaming tensions in Libya and could see top officials including the premier and the assembly chief removed from their posts.

The bill, first proposed in December, will target those who worked in 36 job categories during Gathafi's four decades in power.

Supporters of the new law say that it has popular backing "out of respect for the sacrifices made by the country's martyrs" who were killed fighting the former regime in the 2011 uprising.

In its current draft, the bill could remove many of the country's new leaders from their posts, including Mohammed Megaryef, president of the General National Congress (GNC) and Libya's highest political authority, his deputy Jumaa Attiga and Prime Minister Ali Zeidan.

Observers said that the bill moved one step closer to ratification on Wednesday, when the assembly made a change to the interim constitutional declaration making it impossible to appeal the law before it is passed.

In January, heated debates about the bill created a climate of tension in a country which is already unstable because of the weakness of the country's security organisations.

These tensions reached their peak in March, when Megaryef's car was raked by gunfire in Tripoli as he left a meeting hall besieged by demonstrators.

However, the GNC has said that it is determined to see the bill through to the statute books.

"The law will be passed with a majority of 100 votes plus one out of 200 members of the assembly, while previously approval would have required a majority of 120 votes," GNC spokesman Omar Hmeidan said.

Hmeidan added that the assembly had cleared another hurdle in the interim constitutional declaration which says that "Libyans are equal before the law and in the civil and political rights they enjoy."

It did so by introducing a new article "authorising the temporary exclusion of some Libyans from political life."

"The immunisation (protection against any potential legal challenges) of the political exclusion law is the first stage in successfully creating a law based on fair, impartial and objective criteria," former political prisoner Sami al-Saadi said.

"Political isolation is not punishment or proof of a crime, but a temporary precaution to ensure the construction of a new Libya free from corruption and disorder," he said.

Saadi said he was aware that the law "could affect honest patriots," but said that the bill needs to be passed to avoid exceptions that could put an end to the law on the grounds that it targets one political movement or party over another.

The law's critics say it was "tailor-made" to isolate Mahmud Jibril, head of the liberal National Forces Alliance, who won legislative elections in July 2012 ahead of Islamists.

Libya's mufti, Sheikh Sadeq al-Ghariani, called on citizens to come out in their thousands to support the passing of the bill.

The National Transitional Council, the former political wing of Libya's anti-Gathafi rebels, had already set up the Higher Commission of Integrity and Patriotism, responsible for vetting officials or candidates for public posts to see if they worked for the former regime.

To date, the commission has excluded 350 people, some of whom have brought and won appeals against their dismissal at administrative tribunals.

 

Britain remembers London bombings under shadow of Tunisia

Iran nuclear talks: World powers get back to work on new deadline day

Saudi Arabia arrests 3 brothers over Kuwait mosque bombing

US 'intensifying' campaign against IS base in Syria

Scores of lawyers willing to defend Morocco women tried over ‘provocative’ dresses

Turkish Airlines flight makes emergency landing over bomb threat

Over 150,000 South Sudanese taking shelter in UN bases

Unrecognised government in Libya announces army reforms

Spain arrests suspected female IS group recruiter

Shebab militants target northern Kenya in deadly gun attack

Iran nuclear talks set to miss yet another deadline

In Saudi Arabia, number of security prisoners climbs again

'Islamic State' targets Iraq town in wave of bomb attacks

A year after Gaza war, Shijaiyah still trying to recover

Egypt arrests Brotherhood members over plot to disrupt shipping at Suez Canal

Egypt reveals number of Sinai militants killed in last five days

‘Islamic State’ seizes Syria town of Ain Issa from Kurdish forces

Carrot and stick as ‘Islamic Sate’ seeks to win over Sunni tribes

Crunch talks to seal Iran nuclear deal begin in Vienna

Warplanes target headquarters of Saleh party in Yemen capital

7 Iraqis killed in accidental warplane bomb

Egypt to reconsider parts of anti-terrorism draft law

Morocco journalist on hunger strike in Geneva told to return home

Iran-backed bomb attack foiled in Jordan

Iran nuclear talks enter in final straight

Near Gaza Strip, Israelis live in fear behind concrete walls

Tunisia declares state of emergency after beach massacre

After Tunisia beach massacre, tourists switch to other destinations

Deadly US raids target ISIS stronghold in Syria

Concern and grief as Britain remembers 2005 terror bombings

Iran nuclear talks: Will Ministers score diplomatic success?

Erdogan moots possibility of snap election

Coalitions of Syria rebels battle regime forces in Aleppo

Lawlessness in Libya poses real danger for Tunisia

Hezbollah backs Syria army in major assault on border city

Syria mosque explosion kills at least 25 Nusra fighters

Egypt President in Sinai after jihadist attacks on security forces

Yemen Huthi rebels ‘attack’ various areas in Saudi Arabia

No guarantee of success as Iran nuclear talks inch closer to lasting deal

Egypt ‘in state of war’ on second anniversary of Islamist ouster

Ansar al-Sharia denies killing of Abu Iyadh in US air strike

Rockets from Sinai strike Israel

Palestinians arrest 100 Hamas members in West Bank

Erdogan inaugurates public mosque in palace

Islamists form alliance in battle for Aleppo