News / Middle East

Libya MPs Pass Law Barring Gadhafi-Era Officials

Libyan protesters hold placards and banners during a demonstration in support of the "political isolation law" in Libya's landmark Martyrs Square on May 5, 2013 in Tripoli, Libya.
Libyan protesters hold placards and banners during a demonstration in support of the "political isolation law" in Libya's landmark Martyrs Square on May 5, 2013 in Tripoli, Libya.
TEXT SIZE - +
— Libya was thrown into greater political turmoil Sunday when the country’s congress gave in to the demands of revolutionary militiamen and voted to remove former Gadhafi-era officials from office - even if they had contributed to the downfall of the late dictator.  

Libya’s revolutionary militiamen are celebrating what they see as a “correction of the revolution.”  They chanted and danced when they heard the news that the country’s General National Congress had voted to throw out Gadhafi-era officials.

For a week, militiamen from across the country have been besieging government ministries to press for the approval of a law that bars Gadhafi-era officials from being in government, the Congress or the bureaucracy.

A 45-year-old militiaman, Abu Ali, was one of those celebrating. “We want to isolate the people who was guiding the government with Gadhafi, we do not want them anymore.  We want to rebuild Libya with fresh minds with people who likes Libya, not likes Gadhafi.  I fought and I had so many friends has died in this revolution," he said.

But while the militiamen celebrate, others are dismayed.

Many members of the Cabinet will be forced to quit - so too the president of the congress, Mohamed Magarief, who was an ambassador during the Gadhafi regime before breaking with it and becoming a leader of the rebellion that ousted the late dictator.

The position of Libya’s beleaguered prime minister, Ali Zeidan, is unclear.  He was for several years a Gadhafi-era diplomat, but may not fall within the provisions of the so-called political isolation law.  Even so, some Islamists now want to pursue a separate measure to have him dismissed.

Many in the Cabinet will be forced out, including the interior minister, and so will some moderate lawmakers.

Western diplomats warn the measure, which was argued over for weeks, amounts to a “legal coup” and will strengthen the Muslim Brotherhood and smaller Islamist parties.

Expressing regret over the approval of the law, politician and journalist Abdulrahman Shater worries that the future of Libya will be one of persistent lawlessness.

“They have more power than the ministry of interior or the ministry of defense because they have guns and heavy armament and they have more power than the official bodies of the state.  Some of them want to be in the government, some of them want to be in the embassies, some of them want to be rich.  I wrote several times warning that the revolution will be stolen," he said.

In the days leading up to Sunday's vote, Zeidan and his ministers urged ordinary Libyans to rally behind the government but they did not.  The Zeidan government has not been popular because of the slow pace of change.

Only about 200 people turned out for a rally on Saturday, not enough to help swing the struggle in the government’s favor.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid