Non-democracy in ‘new’ Libya

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.

8 thoughts on “Non-democracy in ‘new’ Libya

  1. Libyan port workers strike

    The New Year saw a strike of port workers in Tripoli. They were protesting the prevailing bad working conditions. Years of neglect of the port’s infrastructure has contributed to their poor conditions. One worker with 15 years’ service explained, “We want the company to take care of the port … we want a place to escape from the cold and the heat.”

    Around 300 of the port workers held a demonstration at the port gates in support of their demands.


  2. Libya: NATO’s New Somalia

    Azeri Press Agency

    January 14, 2012

    Rival Libyan militias clash, killing 2 fighters

    Baku: Rival Libyan militias clashed south of the capital on Friday, firing machine guns and rockets at one another in fighting that left at least two people dead, officials said, APA reports quoting Associated Press.

    The clash underscored the tenuous security situation in the North African nation…Libya’s new leaders are still struggling to rein in the various militias that played a key role in toppling Gadhafi but have largely refused so far to disarm or submit to the interim government’s authority.

    Friday’s violence pitted fighters from the town of Gharyan, 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Tripoli, against a militia from al-Asabia, about 10 miles (16 kilometers) to the southwest.

    Ahmed al-Sharif of the Gharyan militia said his fighters had gone to arrest people suspected of having ties to the former Gadhafi regime. Al-Asabia fighters refused to hand the suspects over, triggering a shootout that saw the two sides firing guns and rockets at each other.

    Medic Mohammed Hussein of the Gharyan hospital said two fighters were killed and eight people wounded, at least one of them a civilian.

    “He was at home and a missile landed on his house,” Hussein said.


  3. Militias fight over Gadaffi suspects

    LIBYA: Militiamen clashed south of Tripoli on Friday, firing machine guns and rockets at one another in fighting that left at least two people dead and eight people wounded, one of them a civilian.

    Ahmed al-Sharif, a member of a paramilitary squad from Gharyan, said that his fighters had gone to arrest people suspected of having ties to the former government of Colonel Muammar Gadaffi.

    Mr Sharif said militiamen from Al-Asabia refused to hand the suspects over, sparking the exchange.

    Gharyan hospital medic Mohammed Hussein said that a civilian had been wounded when “a missile landed on his house.”


  4. Pingback: Nato accused of war crimes in Libya | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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  6. Pingback: Another black Libyan tortured to death | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  7. Pingback: Violence, not democracy in Libya | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  8. Pingback: Elections, but no democracy, in Libya | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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