News24

Libya leadership to include rebels

2011-12-21 22:16

Tripoli - Libyan fighters who took on forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi will be represented in the National Transitional Council, the country's interim chief Mustafa Abdel Jalil said on Wednesday.

Abdel Jalil called on "revolutionaries", or former rebel fighters who had gathered at a conference in Tripoli, to come up with a list of potential candidates to join the interim body.

"We will choose seven, eight or nine to become members of the national council," he said.

The announcement, which comes as the NTC faces unprecedented criticism since the fall of the former regime, was welcomed with rounds of applause and cries of "Allahu Akbar" (God is greatest).

Abdel Jalil urged former rebels, who have evolved into brigades organised primarily along regional lines, to "choose wisely", taking into account the demanding nature of the job as it often requires "more than 12 hours" per day.

The NTC, which enjoyed a grace period during the revolt-turned-civil war, has come under fire for its "lack of representativeness" and "transparency", especially in the eastern city of Benghazi, cradle of the uprising.

Abdel Jalil also called on the former rebels to come up with a list of candidates for the position of commander-in-chief of the national army, which is in the process of being reconstituted.

This new chief "must come from the ranks of the traditional army because this is a military position", he said.