Libya plans vote on assembly to draft constitution



Libya plans vote on assembly to draft constitution 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.

PTI