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January 22, 2012

Libyan Political Leader Welcomes NTC Member’s Resignation

by James Butty

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A Libyan political leader has welcomed the resignation of the deputy head of Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC).

Abdel Hafiz Ghoga, one of the council's highest-profile members, stepped down Sunday, as thousands of university students demonstrated against him in Benghazi.

Hadi Shalluf, founder and president of the Justice and Democracy Party of Libya, has accused Ghoga and other former loyalists of ousted dictator Moammar Gadhafi of trying to steal the Libyan revolution.

“First of all, there are a lot of people who have refused to accept that he [Ghoga] should be a member of the National Transitional Council, for a long time, and then there were the demonstrations against him in Benghazi.  They said he should be brought to justice with Gadhafi’s son, Seif al-Islam.  Also, he is not really a revolutionist, and then his father was working with Gadhafi,” he said.

Shalluf said many Libyans want the NTC to step down and turn the running of the country over to a transitional government, which would then organize elections.

“We should have a committee to draft a constitution, first of all, and then, after that, we should go to an election.  But, unfortunately, the Council does not like to make the constitution,” Shalluf said.

He said he and other pro-democracy Libyans want all Libyans to work together in the new, post-revolution Libya.  But, Shalluf said those who are alleged to have committed crimes against humanity during the Gadhafi regime must first face justice.

“Our party, Justice and Democracy, believe[s] all Libyans are equal.  But, we need to say to these people that, yes, you could be made part of our new country, but you should be brought to justice because most of them were with Gadhafi, they killed people and they violated human rights laws, and also some of these people violated women,” Shalluf said.