Libya ‘headed for political battle’

2011-10-20 09:36

Tripoli – Libya’s new rulers are headed towards a political battle with unclear rules, the National Transitional Council’s (NTC) deputy head warned yesterday amid fears of a power struggle.

“We are heading towards a political battle but the rules of the game are not clearly defined,” Mahmud Jibril told a meeting of former rebel forces to discuss the establishment of a new state based on the rule of law.

“We went from a national battle to a political battle, and this should not have happened before the creation of a state,” said Jibril.

He warned against what he called “the frightening scenario of... (plunging into) chaos.”

The meeting comes amid growing fears that the ouster of Colonel Muammer Gadaffi, who ruled over Libya for 42 years could spark a power struggle between Libya’s numerous tribes, Islamists and liberal figures.

Organisers said the meeting was attended by a coalition of revolutionary forces from across the vast North African country.

Jibril, the NTC’s number two and considered Libya’s interim prime minister, said at the end of September he would not form part of a new government.

Yesterday, he reiterated that he wants to quit his post in order to help “develop civil society in Libya on solid foundations”.

“The political battle needs money, power, organisation and weapons and I have nothing of the above,” he said. “I have nothing left to offer to the Libyan people.”

Time magazine yesterday reported that his resignation could be imminent. In an interview with the magazine, Jibril “hinted that it could be as soon today, when a televised meeting of his group would detail what it had accomplished since Gadaffi’s ouster”.

The NTC has put off the formation of an interim government until after the entire country is freed from Gadaffi’s forces.

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