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.

 

Saudi Arabia replaces powerful intelligence chief

Benflis mobilizes ‘army’ to monitor Algeria election

Kuwait coup plot video ‘neither genuine nor reliable’

Egypt court bans any Brotherhood candidacies in upcoming elections

Libyan oil returns to export market after 8-month break

Syria army advances on rebel-held neighbourhoods in Homs

Turkey rights groups sound alarm at plan to build gay-only prisons

Iraq Kurdistan digs trench to prevent militant infiltration from Syria

Saudi urges stern world action against Syria

Zarif mission to mend Iran-Gulf ties begins in UAE

Results of Egypt vote appear before time in collection of signatures

South Sudan rebels demand firms end oil production

Jordan court sentences Syrian smugglers to five years in prison

Security concerns force Iraq to shut notorious Abu Ghraib prison

Turkey to social media companies: Open offices and pay taxes

Bashir bans political party meetings without permission

Shoes thrown at Jordan PM for ‘raising prices’

Jordan envoy to Libya abducted

US condemns ‘unconscionable’ threats against Libyan PM

Assailants attack Bahrain police car with Molotov cocktails

Bomb attack targets security checkpoint in Cairo

US takes issue with Assad’s upper hand claim

Militants close Iraq's Euphrates River dam

How did Bouteflika's 15 years in power bring corruption to Algeria?

Libya court adjourns trial of ex-Gathafi officials

Iran complains to UN over US visa ban to chosen envoy

Twitter executives meet Turkish officials amid tax evasion accusations

UN rights chief condemns ‘routine’ use of torture in Syria

Egypt's Sisi officially submits bid for president

Syria completes handover of nearly two-thirds of chemical weapons

Cash-strapped Hamas turns to laser-tech for police training

Syria army retakes ancient Christian town of Maalula

Hezbollah gaining new combat experience in Syria

Algerian nomads begin voting for presidential election

Israel minister slams Kerry on talks with Iran

Israel police limit Muslim access to Al-Aqsa mosque

Gathafi sons due to stand trial in Libya

Algeria presidential campaign over, but not war of words

Negotiators in fresh bid to save teetering peace talks

Syria regime inches closer towards ‘victory’

UK probes ‘Islamist plot’ to take over 15 schools in Birmingham

Violence forces Libya Prime Minister to step down

Iran needs 30,000 more centrifuges to meet domestic fuel demands

Syria regime uses 'chemical weapons' again

Algeria Islamists ‘suffer defeat’ despite boycott of presidential election