Libya prepares for peaceful change

2012-08-07 22:40

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Tripoli - Libya's National Transitional Council is set to hand over power on Wednesday to an assembly elected last month in a symbolic move marking the first peaceful transition of power in the country's modern history.

NTC chief Mustafa Abdel Jalil will pass the reins to the oldest member of the 200-seat legislative assembly elected on July 7 in a late-evening ceremony in Tripoli, with the time chosen because of Ramadan, the holy fasting month during which Muslims forego food and drink from dawn until dusk.

The NTC is then due to be dissolved.

A conference room has been arranged in an upscale hotel in the Libyan capital as a makeshift assembly hall, with meetings due to begin on Saturday or Sunday, according to an NTC official.

Assembly members held an informal meeting on Monday, during which they agreed on the need to select a head of the assembly and two deputy chiefs within a week, according to Salah Jawooda, an independent member from the eastern city of Benghazi.

A committee will also be chosen to write the General National Congress's internal procedural rules, Jawooda said.

During Monday's informal gathering, several names were mooted as possible parliament speakers, including two prominent opponents of the regime of Muammar Gaddafi, Mohammed al-Megarief and Idriss Abu Fayed, assembly member Hussein al-Ansari said.

Libyans voted last month in their first free election since a popular uprising last year escalated into a civil war that ousted the regime of now-slain dictator Gaddafi.

They elected a legislative assembly of party and independent representatives whose chief task is to appoint an interim government and steer Libya until new elections can be held on the basis of a constitution to be drafted by a constituent authority of 60 members.


The transition comes against the backdrop of heightened security problems both in Benghazi and in the capital, where a car exploded during a marketplace gun battle on Monday.

Of the 200 assembly members, the lion's share of seats have been set aside for individual candidates whose loyalties and ideologies remain unclear but who are being wooed by various blocs.

Out of the parties, which hold 80 of the 200 seats, the liberal coalition of 2011 wartime premier Mahmud Jibril performed best, securing 39 seats on its own.

Jibril's National Forces Alliance also counts on the support of a centrist party led by Ali Tarhuni, who held several key posts during last year's revolt. It obtained two seats in the congress.

The Justice and Construction Party, launched by Libya's Muslim Brotherhood, came second with 17 seats. But its leader, Mohammed Sawan, says the party can even the score by bringing independent candidates to its side.

Whether two or three major forces emerge in the congress, decisions in the assembly require a two-thirds majority to pass, making co-operation between all players necessary to avoid gridlock in a delicate transition.

Jawooda dismissed suggestions that a new government could be in place before the Eid al-Fitr festival that follows Ramadan, which is due to conclude in around 10 days.

"It is premature to discuss this now," he told AFP.

The NTC was the political arm of the rebellion that toppled Gaddafi, and officially assumed power after the regime was overthrown.

Read more on:    mustafa abdel jalil  |  libya  |  north africa

Join the conversation! 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 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Meet instagram star, Pumpkin the racoon

With 300 000 followers and growing Pumpkin is winning over the internet!



The cats that cost R35 000
Miley Cyrus can’t get enough of her new puppy
13 guilty pets
Meet SA's top poacher-catcher

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

In order to really connect to your feelings, you need to quieten your mind. Let go of expectations and connect to the moment more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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 network.


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.