Libyans start to dream of political parties

2011-09-06 10:15
Tripoli - As Libya's new leaders work on setting the country right and eliminating the last holdouts of Muammar Gaddafi’s loyalists, budding politicians are looking forward to the planned elections.

"Our party is being formed," said Abdel Dayem al-Gharabli, a lawyer from Zawiyah, west of Tripoli, after lengthy talks in a cafe with a group of friends.

To be called the National Democratic Encounter, it aims to be broad-based, supporting the rule of law and respect for liberties, he said.

"But it would also be inspired by the moderate Islam that unites all Libyans," he said.

"We're starting from zero because Muammar Gaddafi banned any sort of political organisation in his "republic of the masses" where only the revolutionary committees were allowed," added Sadek Zarruk, an appeal court judge.

Since the uprising against Gaddafi’s rule that began on February 17, few new political groupings have been announced apart from the New Libya Party, formed in July by Libyans living in the United Arab Emirates.

Fighters in Benghazi, cradle of the revolt to topple Gaddafi, also set up an Alliance of the Youth of February 17, which could yet morph into a political party.

There is also a Libyan National Salvation Front in exile, while the Muslim Brotherhood is reported to have had many underground activists during Gaddafi’s rule.

Road map

Sadek Tuwir, a doctor in Gharabli's group, commented, "While we wait to see the Libyan political desert bloom with new parties, the Muslim Brotherhood seems best placed to claim a national presence".

Lawyer Hassan Hawissa agreed, saying that "despite the repression of Gaddafi’s regime the Brotherhood managed to maintain a network of loyalists working in secret."

UN envoy Ian Martin said on Monday in Tripoli the United Nations is ready to assist Libya's new authorities in their preparations for elections.

"The National Transitional Council has put assistance with the electoral process very high on the list of tasks where they seek United Nations assistance and so we have done a good deal of preparatory work," he said.

Martin said it was "too soon for details" on how the transition would unfold as decisions regarding the electoral system, the establishment of an electoral commission and other technical details have yet to be determined.

"The United Nations is certainly ready to move very fast in bringing the electoral expertise that can assist the authorities on moving on the timetable [for elections] that they have established."

The National Transitional Council which piloted the insurgency and has formed a provisional government, has drawn up a road map aimed at the election of an assembly to draft a new constitution within eight months of Libya being declared "liberated".


This would be put to a referendum, with legislative and presidential elections to follow a year later.

Western powers which backed the uprising say they are confident that a democratic Libya respecting human rights will emerge.

Analysts play down the importance of the different regions - Cyrenaica in the east, Tripolitania in the west and Fezzan in the south - as well as the multitude of tribes in Libyan society, predicting they will adapt to a democratic system.

"In complex situations there is a tendency to simplify, pitting east against west, tribes against the state, but that is an insult to Libya and the Libyans," Olivier Pliez, of France's National Centre for Scientific Research, commented recently.

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

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

When is a mountain more than just a mountain? 2014-12-18 07:26

When it’s an adventure! A group of Old Mutual employees found out how much is enough courage, endurance and camaraderie to take on Africa's highest peak.


A truly South African Christmas song!

Oh, you will definitely recognise the tune, but when it comes to the lyrics, local is lekker!


I love summer.24

This man's reaction to his Christmas present is priceless!
LOL! Cats destroying Christmas trees
Great tips for surviving the holidays
The ugliest Christmas trees ever?

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Analyst Developer

Western Cape
Progressive IT Resourcing (Pty) Ltd

Branch manager

Western Cape
Neo Batho (Pty) Ltd
R15 000 - R20 000 Per Month

Travel Agent

Western Cape
R6 100 - R50 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go! - shop online today

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off the bestselling books

Save big on the most captivating reads of 2014. 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


You may feel more sensitive than usual and there may be something or someone blocking the flow of things. There is a strong 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.