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

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment 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.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid