Libya Islamists challenge party ban

2012-04-25 22:29

Tripoli - Libya, preparing for elections in June, has banned parties based on religion, tribe or ethnicity, the government said on Wednesday, and a new Islamist party viewed as a leading contender signalled it would challenge the decision.

National Transitional Council spokesperson Mohammed al-Harizy said the council passed the law governing the formation of political parties on Tuesday evening. "Parties are not allowed to be based on religion or ethnicity or tribe," he told Reuters.

He did not make clear how this would affect a political party formed in March by Libya's Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists. The new party was expected to make a strong showing in the election, the first since last year's overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in a Nato-backed popular uprising.

The head of the Brotherhood's Freedom and Development Party said the NTC needed to make it clearer what it meant by banning religious parties. He said this would cause controversy in conservative Libya, whose population of six million is made up almost entirely of Sunni Muslims.

"This kind of clause is only useful in countries where there exists many religions, not in Libya where most people are religious Muslims," Sawan told Reuters.

"This law needs to be reviewed by the NTC and if it's not changed, we would have to protest it."

Libya's NTC has already indicated that the country will be run in accordance with shari'ah, though the exact place of Islamic law in the legal system will be settled only once a new constitution is written after elections.

Political analysts have said the Muslim Brotherhood is likely to emerge as Libya's most organised political force and an influential player in the oil-exporting state where Islamists, like all dissidents, were harshly suppressed during the 42 years of Gaddafi's dictatorial rule.

Islamists have performed strongly in post-uprising elections in Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco since October and they are also likely to do well in Libya, a socially conservative country where alcohol was already banned before the 2011 revolution.

Read more on:    libya  |  libya elections  |  north africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.