By Will Morrow:
Libya: TNC releases anti-democratic draft electoral laws
13 January 2012
Libya’s self-appointed Transitional National Council (TNC) last week released draft laws governing elections scheduled later this year for a “General National Congress.”
The Congress is supposed to elect a new government to replace the TNC, and draft a new constitution to be put to a referendum. The deeply anti-democratic draft electoral laws make clear that the new governing body, like the NATO-installed TNC, will be carefully vetted by the US and European imperialist powers and will represent different regional and tribal elite cliques against the interests of the Libyan people.
The draft legislation features provisions preventing people nominating themselves as candidates for the Congress. Libyan workers are blocked from participation by the requirement that candidates must have a “professional qualification.” Virtually everyone who worked at any level of Moammar Gaddafi’s former government is barred, unless they can demonstrate “early and clear support for the February 17th revolution.” Those with an academic degree in Gaddafi’s “Third Universal Theory” or Green Book—previously required by many people to advance their careers—are ineligible.
Other statutes reportedly disqualify people who allegedly benefited monetarily from the regime or received diplomas or university degrees “without merit.” Massaoud El Kanuni, a Libyan lawyer specialising in constitutional law, told the Wall Street Journal: “That criteria could be used against three-quarters of the country. How are we going to follow a path of national reconciliation if so many people are excluded from [the country’s] future?”
The electoral laws underscore the fraudulent character of the efforts to provide a democratic veneer to the NATO intervention. From the beginning, the US and European powers aimed to oust the Gaddafi regime and install a pliant administration to secure control of the country’s lucrative oil reserves and bolster their geostrategic position in North Africa.
The TNC largely comprises ex-Gaddafi regime figures, Islamist elements, CIA assets and tribal leaders. On December 17, the Guardian’s Tripoli correspondent reported: “The TNC refuses to say who its members are, or even how many there are. Although it appointed a cabinet last month, policy decisions are taken inside what amounts to a black box. Meetings are held in secret, voting records are not published, and decisions are announced by irregular television broadcasts. Typical was last week’s announcement, which came out of the blue, that the oil and economy ministries would be moved to Benghazi, and the finance ministry to Misrata.”
These moves sow the seeds for the further fragmentation of Libya, as rival regional and tribal cliques vie for power and control over the country’s wealth.
Different militias that served as proxy forces for NATO during its regime-change campaign have carved up Tripoli into zones of influence. Military checkpoints separate brigades from eastern Libya, Misrata, Zintan and different ethnic minorities such as the Berbers, with each outfit flying its town or tribal flag in the areas it controls. Islamist brigades, including one led by former Al Qaeda ally Abdel Haqim Belhaj, who claims authority over Tripoli, are also prominent. Firefights have erupted between militias in recent weeks, including a clash on January 3, which killed four people.
The TNC has attempted unsuccessfully to persuade the militias to integrate into the so-called Libyan National Army. The army is little more than another militia, comprising an estimated 200 fighters from eastern Libya. According to the New York Times, CIA asset Khalifa Hitler has recently “emerged as the army’s most influential officer,” though Yousef Al-Manqoush, a former Gaddafi military commander who retired in 1999, is the official head of the force.
British police will investigate if the secret services were involved in transferring two men to Libya where they were allegedly ill-treated by Moamer Kadhafi’s regime, officials said on Thursday: here.
Britain: Police to question Jack Straw over torture in Libya. Ministers must face ‘serious allegations’ over human rights abuses: here.
A new criminal investigation into the rendition and torture of two Libyans will be carried out before the seriously flawed Gibson detainee inquiry gets going, Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer has confirmed: here.
Key anti-Gaddafi figure & rendition victim Belhaj said recently he wouldn’t take part in Gibson Inquiry, citing flaws: here.
BBC: Abdel Hakim #Belhaj to sue Diego Garcia commission: here.
Libya and the New Warmongering: here.
Fire Hose of Your Tax Money Gushes to Libya. Tom H. Hastings, Truthout: “How much did the United States spend trying to topple dictators … in Tunisia and Egypt? Oh, that’s right, like Filipino strongman Ferdinand Marcos, those brutal, corrupt, murdering leaders were essentially installed and supported by the United States. We spent zero helping the nonviolent revolutions in those countries…. Now, after wasting that $1.1 billion-plus on violently getting rid of Qaddafi, the United States is going to pay untold millions to buy up weapons from the insurgents”: here.