News / Middle East

Libyans Wonder What's Next for Gadhafi-Era Loyalists

Pro-government protesters rally against gunmen who have taken control of two ministries in the capital, in front of the Libyan Prime Minister's residence, in Tripoli, Libya, May 3, 2013.Pro-government protesters rally against gunmen who have taken control of two ministries in the capital, in front of the Libyan Prime Minister's residence, in Tripoli, Libya, May 3, 2013.
x
Pro-government protesters rally against gunmen who have taken control of two ministries in the capital, in front of the Libyan Prime Minister's residence, in Tripoli, Libya, May 3, 2013.
Pro-government protesters rally against gunmen who have taken control of two ministries in the capital, in front of the Libyan Prime Minister's residence, in Tripoli, Libya, May 3, 2013.
Libya is grappling with the decision this week by its congress to remove former Gadhafi-era officials from office. A top Islamist politician says disbarring them will help rebuild Libya, but some Libyans aren’t so sure.

The fallout is growing after Libya’s General National Congress bowed to revolutionary militiamen and approved a law disbarring from government a wide range of officials who worked for the former regime of Moammar Gadhafi.

There is worry the so-called "political isolation law" will add to a skills deficit in government and hinder the country moving forward rapidly. There also is concern the congress simply caved in to militiamen besieging key ministries demanding passage.

Rim Jibril, a 44-year-old visual artist who has been joining small anti-militia protests, said Libya won’t have enough experienced people to govern the country.

“I am with the political isolation in principle, but I am against the method they are going with because the way they are going with it, I think it will isolate more people than we can afford,” he said.

But Nizar Kawan, a Congress member from the Muslim Brotherhood’s Justice and Construction Party, said the isolation law is a cleansing action. He said that other countries have pursued similar courses following oppression or conflict.

“The United States also had its political isolation after the Civil War and a lot of those who fought with the South were politically isolated. It was very harsh, even harsher than this. So sometimes this does happen in history,” said Kawan.

How the political isolation law will work in practice remains unclear. A committee is planned to oversee its implementation.

It is difficult to calculate the number of people who will be barred from holding public office or working for the government for the next 10 years. It already has had an impact deterring foreign investors, though, and delaying the signing of government contracts for infrastructure repair and development.  

Politician Mahmoud Jibril, a former Gadhafi-era planning minister and leader of a moderate coalition, predicted that half-a-million Libyans could lose posts. He said the law is unfair, as he and others who had worked for Gadhafi also were crucial in engineering his downfall.

Businessman and militia supporter Farag Alhamadi said there are plenty of people, however, who are ready to take the place of the holdovers.

“Libya is a country with capabilities. It is a young nation. There’s no lack or shortage of people who can fill these posts instead of using the people from the former regime. Why not use the young now to fill these posts?” asked Alhamadi.

Still, the militiamen want more. They are maintaining the ministry blockades, demanding that Prime Minister Ali Zeidan leave office.

You May Like

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost-Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More