Libya opposition vow free, fair vote

2011-03-29 15:06

London - Libya's opposition vowed on Tuesday to work for free and fair elections, as they set out their vision of a democratic state ahead of talks by world powers on the future of the north African country.

In a statement issued ahead of the meeting in London, the Transitional National Council representing rebels fighting Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s regime said it wanted a "modern, free and united state".

"We have learnt from the struggles of our past during the dark days of dictatorship that there is no alternative to building a free and democratic society and ensuring the supremacy of international humanitarian law and human rights declarations," the statement said.

To this end, it vowed to "guarantee every Libyan citizen of statutory age the right to vote in free and fair parliamentary and presidential elections, as well as the right to run for office".

The council promised to draft a national constitution establishing legal, political and civil institutions and separating legislative, executive and judicial powers.

A free media and freedom to hold demonstrations would be upheld, and political parties, trade unions and other civil groups would be permitted.

Strong religious beliefs

The council also promised a "constitutional civil state which respects the sanctity of religious doctrine and condemns intolerance, extremism and violence that are manufactured by certain political, social or economic interests".

It said it would create "a state that draws strength from our strong religious beliefs in peace, truth, justice and equality".

In reference to Libya's oil reserves which have attracted foreign investment from firms such as BP, the council added that "the interests and rights of foreign nationals and companies will be protected".

The council, comprising 31 members representing Libya's major cities and towns, is the main body speaking for the rebels although it has only been recognised formally by France and Qatar.

Council members have not been invited to attend the London meeting but envoy Mahmud Jibril met with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and was also due to hold talks with British Prime Minister David Cameron on Tuesday.

Read more on:    muammar gaddafi  |  libya  |  libya protests  |  north africa  |  uprisings
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