Libya plans vote on assembly to draft constitution

Last Updated: Wednesday, January 4, 2012 - 12:31

Tripoli: Libya`s interim government has
proposed a draft law for electing an assembly to draft a new
constitution, a first step to setting up a new government
after the ouster of Muammar Gaddafi.

The draft, published Monday night on the website of the
ruling National Transitional Council, would bar former members
of Gaddafi`s regime from running in the election. It would
even ban anyone who got a degree based on academic research on
the Green Book, Gaddafi`s rambling political manifesto that
laid out his theory of government and society declaring Libya
a "republic of the masses."

Libya is facing serious challenges to build state
institutions from scratch after toppling Gaddafi`s 42-year
dictatorship. The interim government must set rules for the
transition to democracy and forge some sort of national
reconciliation among the huge numbers of Libyans who were
integral parts of former regime.

One of the most serious and immediate problems facing the
interim leaders is disbanding disparate armed groups of former
revolutionary fighters, which are divided by the regions where
the operate. The regional militias, which played a major role
in bringing Gaddafi down, are in charge of security in their
areas in the absence of a strong and unified national military
force. Clashes between the groups are frequent.

Fierce gunbattles between the militias of Tripoli and the
city of Misrata erupted yesterday in the center of the capital
and left at least four fighters dead, said Tripoli`s military
council top commander, Abdel-Hakim Belhaj.

The groups fought each other with machine guns,
rocket-propelled grenades and anti-aircraft guns. Col Walid
Shouaib, a member of Tripoli Military Council, said the
clashes were triggered by arrest of a Misrata fighter on New
Year`s Eve by Tripoli fighters. He was suspected of robbery
and the Misrata fighters were trying to free him.

The Tripoli council is affiliated with the national
transitional government.

The head of the interim government, Mustafa Abdel-Jalil,
said the government must take control of the situation.


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First Published: Wednesday, January 4, 2012 - 12:31

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