Libya bans religious political parties

2012-04-25 15:09
Tripoli - Libya, which is braced for its first election since Moamer Gaddafi's overthrow, is to ban political parties based on religion, tribalism or regionalism, officials said on Wednesday.

The new rules were endorsed late on Tuesday by Libya's ruling National Transitional Council (NTC), said council member Fathi al-Baja.

"This law does not target moderate Islamists. It is aimed at militant Islamists, who do not recognise others," he said.

Under Gaddafi, who ruled Libya for 42 years, there were no political parties or elections. He was captured and killed by rebels in his hometown of Sirte in October.

"Applications for registering the new parties and relevant appeals should be submitted within one month, starting from now," said al-Baja.

Libyans will in June be asked to elect a national assembly, which will be tasked with drafting a constitution for the North Africa country.

Several Libyan groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, have already announced setting up political parties.

Islamists in Egypt and Tunisia, where popular revolts toppled long-standing autocrats, have made unprecedented gains in recent elections.

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