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

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
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.
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.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid