Libya to debate Gaddafi officials law

2013-05-05 18:00
Flashback: Intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senoussi, right, whispers to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in Sabha, Libya. (AP, File)

Flashback: Intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senoussi, right, whispers to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in Sabha, Libya. (AP, File)

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

Tripoli - Libya's General National Congress met on Sunday ahead of a vote on a controversial law to exclude former Gaddafi-era officials from government posts amid pressure from armed militias to pass the bill.

"The bill on political exclusion is on today's [Sunday's] agenda. Depending on how the sitting goes, we will decide whether the vote goes ahead or not," independent GNC member Abdelfattah Sheloui told AFP.

"They are leaning towards a vote today."

The GNC, Libya's highest political authority, has been studying proposals for a law that would see top figures from the regime of late dictator Moamer Kadhafi sacked from their posts in government.

Gunmen in Tripoli have encircled the foreign ministry for a week and the justice ministry since Tuesday, to demand the speedy adoption of the bill, stepping up pressure on the GNC.

Proposals for the law have caused a stir among Libya's political elite, as several current senior members of the government could be affected, including Prime Minister Ali Zeidan and president of the GNC Mohamed Megaryef, who were diplomats under Kadhafi before joining the opposition in exile.

According to the text of the law, all those who occupied key official posts from September 1, 1969, when Kadhafi took power, until the fall of the regime in October 2011 would be excluded from government for five years.

Human Rights Watch condemned the way in which the law is being pushed through.

"The GNC should not allow itself to be railroaded into making very bad laws because groups of armed men are demanding it," Sarah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch said in a statement Saturday.

"Libya's long-term prospects for peace and security will be seriously diminished if the congress agrees to nod through this law."

The GNC has debated the law in several sessions, but has failed to reach an agreement, as it proved particularly controversial with the National Forces Alliance, the liberal coalition that dominated elections in July, who feared the law was aimed at their leader, Mahmud Jibril.

Vice president Salah al-Makhzum said a compromise had been reached among the political blocs by adding "exceptions" in the bill in order to retain key individuals.

But militia leaders warned that they would not accept any exceptions to the law.

In April, under pressure from supporters of the law, the GNC made an amendment to the provisional constitutional declaration exempting the law from judicial review even before it was voted on.

Some Libyans have objected to the gunmen's siege of the ministries pushing for the exclusion law, and on Friday, demonstrators against the militias clashed with a rival protest in support of the law in Tripoli.

Zeidan said Saturday that the government preferred using "patience" and dialogue over force to resolve the sieges.

Since the fall of Kadhafi's regime, militia groups, mostly ex-rebels, have managed border controls, prisons, strategic facilities in the country and vital institutions.

They received salaries and other perks from the authorities, and benefitted from smuggling and extortion.

Gathered in Tripoli, leaders of the ex-rebel militias said on Saturday that the government had agreed to give five ministries over to their members.


Read News24’s Comments Policy 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
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


DA wants to empower fishing communities - Zille

DA leader Helen Zille says the party has a plan for harbours and small-scale fishing communities.


Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now! - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy Note 16GB

GALAXY Note combines the market's largest HD Super AMOLED display,...

From R3899.00

I'm shopping for:


You may find yourself putting in that extra effort on looking good and making an impression. 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.