Political parties in Libya were barred by Gaddafi's government in 1972. Instead,
each town should form a people's committee, a kind of a "local council" representing
the local people. The committees met in the capital Tripoli in the General People's
Committee (GPC), allegedly to discuss people's proposals for the GPC to endorse.
The GPC had a general secretary, but most of its sessions were most often chaired
by Gaddafi himself. This system proved to be a total failure and typical of any
other governmental system it had never achieved anything positive from the "people's
point of view": essential services were neglected, whole cities left
without regular water supplies and without hospitals, unemployment continued
to rocket, poverty proliferated in rich Libya, shops were empty, projects never
completed, corruption became rife, and a general feel of despair engulfed the
The situation under the "installed" NTC and the "powerless"
GNC continues to surprise the Libyans. After the presumed liberation
of Libya on the 23rd of October 2011, "local
councils", yet again, were formed for a number of towns and cities, with
the exception of Zuwara's
local council, which was then the first ever council in new Libya to be elected
by the people, followed by Misrata then Benghazi. These local councils also
fell to "corruption"
and "chaos", with local people complaining about lack of law and the
proliferation of disorder. Dozens of council members and also some council presidents
continue to resign.
There are various reasons to explain the failure. For example, there
was no attempt to educate the Berbers, the Arabs and the Tebu of Libya about the
democratic change the transitional leaders had in mind. Instead the Libyans found
themselves engaged in a barrage of attacks and conflicts across the Black Crescent,
Nafusa, Ghadames and the Sahara at large, while the leaders were busy creating
political parties by the bucket at the Rixos hotel. Over a year later, the Libyans
woke up to discover the chaos of the political change, and openly called for
demolishing all political parties. The military of Egypt even declared a military
coup against the elected party, ultimately confusing people as to what "democracy" means,
and shortsightedly seeding "division" for possible conflicts to come.
The Berbers' Long Struggle For Democracy
The problem with most of the political parties that claim "justice" and
that they define such terms from within their own perspective, as they often
speak of the natives' rights as "minorities rights",
when the Berbers say they are not a minority,
but Libyans first, and "natives" second. Based on such
ideologies the Arabs should refer to themselves as the "majority" and
not as "Libyans"; but they do not - they are the only Libyans,
and all others are no more than
"ethnic minorities" – second class subjects who can 'speak'
and 'practice' their culture without any official or constitutional recognition,
let alone constitutional protection.
Most Libyans say Libya needs a just government that recognises both
the Arabs and Berbers as equal "Libyans" without any differences between
them. The Libyans hope such government will become a reality, one day, in which
all Libyans can live together as equal brothers and sisters – in peace; a government
that will stop calling either of them a "minority"
or a "majority" and instead treat both of them equally as free Libyans.
What they need now is not being called the wrong names,
granted the right to practice and enjoy
their language, or vote only
"yes" or "no" on matters decided for them by others, but
full recognition of identity and legal protection by the constitution
of (free) and (just) Libya to live as dignified Libyans in their own country.
Any party, regardless of flavour, or any government, regardless of method of
installation, that claims these privileges for itself while denies them to the
natives can never claim to be democratic, if not despotic in part.
There were attempts in the past to establish this distinction, but
despotism as usual was in the way. On one hand such unjust opinion declares Arabic
as the only official language in Libya (as in all the above three constitutions
of Libya), while on the other hand it contradictingly claims all Libyans should
be equal before the law.
This kind of "double-standard" was common
in old Libya(s), and elsewhere, but the Libyans still hope it will go away, one
The "horn blowers" (the partisans) speak of
winning the elections on the basis of the number of votes gained, but the native
Berbers say identity issues
cannot be voted for because they constitute basic human rights; and that being
a minority in their own sacred home they see no viable chance of wining any rights
via this confused yet popular system of democracy. Here is a good example to
illustrate the paradox:
In February 2005 Belkacem Lounes, the President of the Amazigh World Congress,
was invited by Gaddafi to visit Libya and chat about the "sensitive"
Berber issue. During the tense conversation Gaddafi told Lounes, spot
on, that the Berbers in Libya are a small minority and that if it comes to a
referendum they will not win anything. Lounes kindly replied:
can tell you right now that we are more than you sitting here in your tent,
and if we vote for the tent we will take it away from you, even though you are
the legal owner of the tent; and so legitimate rights cannot be voted for."
Gaddafi was upset by the straight answer and the meeting soon afterwards came
to an end. His successors today (with the exception of Dr. Magarief) still find
it hard to break the taboo and speak
the forbidden truth.
What happens if one wins a
tenth of the tent?
Hooray; tear the tent apart, into so many parties, and let democracy
do the rest.
The Berbers Say: There is No Democracy in Libya Without The Berbers
One grows to learn that revolution is a sacred concept leaders of any type
may naturally come to fear, simply because in principle it transfers power to
the people they intent to govern, but in practice it strips them of all power.
The etymology of "democracy" itself means "the
people's government", but in reality there is no such thing
as the people's government anywhere in the world – only the authority of a
single party, voted for by a particular group of "supporters", who
happened to agree with the party's policy but not with the common good; and often
chaired by one man, or occasionally by one female, under the roof of a divided
con-gress. Gaddafi too claimed to introduce people's government, people's bureaus,
and people's everything, but we now know how "infiltrated" his
Based on this established definition of "democracy", the Berber
people have never had any say regarding the officialisation
of their outlawed identity, let alone their impoverished life or
intellectual freedom. Things were always imposed on them in their own homes,
often in the name of "independence",
"revolution" or now "democracy".
way to make the Berbers and the Arabs and the Tebu "equal" before
the law is to effect the same level of economic
equality for all, and to make all "languages" and "identities"
100% balanced on the same scale. Democracy basically
is nothing more than justice, economic equality and respect
of all human rights for all men, women and children, equally and regardless
of "colour", "gender", "number" or "belief".
Name one single country in the world where these principles are being upheld
to the letter in practice? Poor people from all over the impoverished world are
still campaigning against inequality and the class society in which the planet's
wealth is enjoyed only by the mere 1% – proving that "numbers"
do not matter where it matters!
فالإسلام . . . ليس شريعة تطبقها دولة، بل دولة أخرى
في حد ذاته: إنه نظام محدد في الحكم، يقوم على مبدأ الشرع الجماعي،
ويعتمد إدارة جماعية، تنعقد للعمل في يوم اسمه يوم الجمعة،
تحت قبة برلمان رسمي اسمه الجامع . وإذا شاءت الأحزاب
الدينية أن تطوع هذا الشرع الجماعي لخدمة رجل واحد، أو حزب واحد، فإن النتيجة الوحيدة
المتوقعة من وراء هذا السحر السياسي، هي أن . . .
تسقط حكومة الناس. ويغلق
الجامع أبوابه، ويغيب الحوار السياسي، ويخسر المواطن صوته . . . وبعد ذلك يسود الصمت
. . . ويفقد الناس حقهم في الإشراف على جهاز الدولة، فتتحول الميزانية
العامة إلى ثروة خاصة . . . وتصير الأمة مجرد "رعية" ويتبنى
القضاء شريعة الراعي، حتى يصبح الذبح والسلخ والحلب وجز الصوف، أشغالاً حكومية
Regarding matters of principles and goals,
nearly all the new parties formed in Libya have failed to categorically talk
or even mention the tabooed "Berber Crisis" in Libya, with the exception
of one or two parties – even though some parties were careful enough to include
the usual and misleading phrase "protection of minorities",
probably as a "winning card" to play during the pre-election propaganda
Instead some "political entities" (as they came to be
called in new Libya) were ready to
"All parties are now against tribal logic and for national unity",
without taking the time to elaborate what "tribal logic" means,
to whom it applies, or what "unity" really is in principle! All parties
must conform to "sharia", NTC's
Law 29/2012 says. Parties must not be "secular". The rules for
"democracy" must be amended by the laws of "moderated
Once the parties climb the vacated ladder to the top,
divisions appear at the base, opposition becomes official, resignations follow,
freezing party activity explained, and confusion leaves people waiting
for order to emerge from the corridors of chaos. For example, when the ousted,
transitional prime minister Mahmoud Jibril visited Zuwarah
during his pre-election campaign, he told the Berbers of Zuwarah that they either
have to get their rights now or never, without of course telling them how to
go on about
"getting" their rights from the NTC or from any other "entity" (for
that matter)! A few months later, after his coalition's landslide victory,
Jibril's party proved the point by yet again dictating in its charter
(Article 7) that Arabic is the only 'official' and 'legal' language
There was no attempt to educate the Berbers, the Arabs and the Tebu of
Libya about democracy and about benefiting from the "revolution" they
helped succeed. But instead they have found themselves engaged in a barrage
of attacks and conflicts across the Black Crescent, Nafusa, Ghadames and the
Sahara at large – with the "blue"
Tuareg Berbers being hunted as "greens", and the "blacks" being
expelled from their homes for once being "greens", and the loyalists
persecuted and tortured for being " greens"; while the leaders
were creating political parties by the bucket at the Roxis hotel.
would presume healing the wounded, re-building Libya, setting up a constitution
and electing a final government should have been the focus of the (installed)
transitional rulers (and their international friends) before setting up any political
The Berbers' repeated calls for official recognition of their "identity" as
a vital component of the Libyan Society were ignored, and even suppressed by
the previous despotic regimes of Libya(s); and so far the "official
stance" of new Libya appears as
stark as ever. The Berbers still hope it will change one day.
Hijacking the legitimate demands of the Berbers by wrongly labeling them "separatists"
only to suppress their legitimate rights will not make the problem go away,
many Berberists say. Setting up hundreds of parties for themselves, while war
was going on, and even before
writing a constitution for people and the law to follow, is "very strange".
If the Libyans truly
are ready to embrace simple democracy then they are urged to throw away their
instruments of violence and denial, and instead respect their other
Libyan brothers and sisters in the same way they seek the same respect for themselves.
must stay united, no doubt, but only on equal basis.
Libyan Election & Parties Laws
On the 4th of January 2012 the NTC issued a law canceling Gaddafi's ban on
establishing political parties (of 1972). But on the 2nd of May 2012 the
NTC issued its Law
29/2012, which prohibits establishing political parties that do not conform
to "sharia law". In July 2012 the NTC published its manifesto Number
7 (of 2012), in which they "reminded" the National Congress
that "sharia" is the primary source of legislation
and that this matter is "not for voting".
Initially the NTC
announced, via its [un-numbered] Election
Law Project, that all seats in the National Congress will
go to "independents", but after wide criticism from the people of Libya,
the council had reversed its policy and said it will reserve two fifths (40%)
of the seats for political parties (that is 80 out of the 200 assembly
seats will go to political parties). This reversal of policy appears to be symptomatic
of the NTC overall, and in a number of reversals and amendments the previous
laws were often violated.
It has also removed the earlier restriction of "10
percent quota for female candidates",
saying that what they meant was that at least 10 percent of women should be present
in the congress, and that if there are more women who can take up the role
then there will be no restriction. The transitional government announced by el-Keib
in November 2011 contained 5 women, two ministers and three deputy ministers.
The LWPP (see below) called for assigning 67 seats for women within the 200-member
The Election Law Project defines a number of terms as follows:
المؤتمر الوطني العام (The General National Congress, or
the General National Assembly, or the National Conference): the legislative authority
for the transitional period, made up of 200 members. These elected members will
then write the draft constitution, and choose the president of the GNC during
the first session of the congress.
المفوضية الوطنية العليا للإنتخابات (The High National Election
Commission - HNEC): established on the 18th of January 2012, according to Law
3/2012. The website of the Commission is: www.elections2012.ly/ .
الدائرة الإنتخابية (The Electoral District [or Constituency]):
the geographical region encompassing the voters who can choose the members of
the General National Congress.
السجل الإنتخابي (The Electoral Register): the general register
listing the names of those who have the right to take part in the elections.
البطاقة الإنتخابية (The Electoral ID): an identification card
issued by the HNEC, allowing the holder the right to participate in the elections.
الترشيح (Nomination): nomination to run for office.
The General National Congress (المؤتمر الوطني العام)
The General National Congress, sometimes referred to as the General National
Assembly, is the legislative authority for the transitional period. The congress
will be made of 200 elected members: 100 seats to the west, 60 to Cyrenaica,
and 40 to Fezzan. The congress will choose a Prime Minister within 30 days, and
appoint a "constitutional committee" within 60 days.
The National Congress was rejected by a number of Libyans including many Berbers
and Arabs from Cyrenaica (including Benghazi).
The critics say the National Congress can only be formed after voting for the
local councils from all over Libya, and that it is the duty of the elected local
councils to form a general council.
The critics also objected to the number of seats assigned to each area based
on population density; and when both Berberists and federalists called for "equal
numbers" at theGeneral National Congress, dictated by
the unelected NTC, their demands were rejected by the the chief of the NTC as "impossible".
The High National Election Commission (HNEC) (المفوضية الوطنية العليا
The electoral commission was established on the 18th of January 2012, according
to Law (3) of 2012. The commission will prepare, organise, implement, supervise
and monitor the election of the General National Congress within 80 days of publishing
all the related laws, and it will publish the results within 30 days of the elections.
The election was scheduled for the 19th of June 2012.
observers had later pointed out that a number of violations were committed in
relation to the 'complicated' Electoral Process, including not allowing enough
time for people to understand the process. For example, the constitutional amendment
number 3 was passed on the 5th
of July 2012 – just two days before the election day; and amendment
number 2 was passed on the 10th of June 2012 – just 9 days before the original
election day (19 June 2012). Law
29 itself, regulating 'political parties', was passed
on the 2nd of May 2012; but applying for registering
political parties was only scheduled
to start from
the 26th of May 2012. Many Libyans, once again, objected to forming political
parties at this early stage before writing the constitution to define the
actual foundation on which Libya ought to be built – but again their voices
were ignored, just as they were for 42 + 2 years.
During the final week of May 2012 Mr. Abdul Jalil indicated that the elections
may not be held on time as planned, while the transitional Prime Minister el-Keib
said the NTC was "hindering"
his government’s efforts to hold elections on time, and of running a "vicious
media campaign" (see below for more on this). But later the NTC denied
it made such an announcement, and stated that this matter is left to the High
National Election Commission to decide.
On the 10th of June 2012, "Libya For The Free" had confirmed
that the elections will take place on the 7th of July 2012 (instead of the previously
agreed date: 19 June 2012). Nuri al-Abbar, head of the election commission, told
reporters that he blames nobody for the postponement because it was due to the
fact that he wanted to make sure the elections are transparent and that
voter registration had no links to Gaddafi (libya.tv/en/elections-postponed-until-july-7/).
The website of the HNEC: (all the following URLs have become unavailable in
hnec.ly/ (the contents of the old website
Just before the elections of the "58" constitutional committee in February
2014 two new websites appeared, at:
All the laws and the published results of the 7/7 2012
elections have vanished from the new website(s), and a new content appeared,
primarily in relation to the constitutional committee elections. For a complete
list of all
the published results and laws relating to the 7/7 elections please see the 7/7
Elections link (in the above green menu).
Electoral Regions Map (districts Map)
The electoral districts and the number of seats for each region
are shown here: hnec.ly/modules/googlemaps/ (the content has vanished in
LWPP: The Libyan Women’s Platform for Peace (منبر المرأة الليبيّة من أجل
A legal team representing Libyan women had drafted an "alternative
electoral law" to resolve some disagreements over the Libyan electoral law. They submitted
their proposal to the NTC for consideration. Key issues covered include:
Electoral Representation of Women: the LWPP called for a fair representation
of women in the national congress by assigning 67 seats for women within the
200-member body of the National Congress.
Inclusion of Dual Nationals: the LWPP calls for the removal of reference
to Article 24 of 2012 (the Nationality Law), which may restrict the ability of
dual nationals to serve as members of the National Congress.
Political Parties: "the LWPP joined many civil society groups to criticise
four key areas. 1) the lack of adequate provisions for women’s political
participation, 2) possible interpretations that would exclude dual citizens from
public life, 3) the risk of incentivizing political party formation along tribal
lines, and 4) inadequate mechanisms to fight corruption in the electoral process."
Election & Parties Laws
The Election Law bans Libyans who had ties to Gaddafi from running for office,
including those who "wrote"
about Gaddafi's Green Book. Those who had a leading role in the GPC (General
People's Committee of Gaddafi's Libya), members of the Revolutionary Committees
and the People's Committees, and ambassadors are also barred unless they showed
positive support for the revolution "early on". The law also excludes
those who stood against the revolution. All the members of the NTC including
its president, members of the executive board, members of the current transitional
government, and members of the local and military councils are also barred from
nomination. Libyan nationals with dual nationality are also barred, unless they
give up their foreign nationality before hand.
Is The NTC Hindering Efforts To Hold Elections on Time?
Last month some Libyan embassies opened their registers for Libyans living
abroad to register voters for the poll (برنامج حصر التعداد السكانى : 'the
census program'). For example, Libyans living in the UK were invited to register
via www.libyancommunityaffairs.com. But then a few weeks later Nuri al-Abbar,
spokesman for the High National Election Commission, was reported to have said
that Libyans living abroad are unlikely to be able to vote in June, apparently
because one of the reasons is that many Libyan exiles were Gaddafi's opponents
who never registered with Libyan embassies. Another reason is that the children
of these exiled Libyans are now adults, most of whom have European and American
passports! But then doesn't the world already know that the NTC-elected Prime
Minister el-Keib himself was reported by the Western media to be a holder
of an American passport?
During the 8th ministerial session, held on the 2nd of May 2012, the transitional
government endorsed only 6 countries from which resident can participate
in the forthcoming election. There was no list of these countries nor an explanation
as to why all other countries are excluded – especially those countries with
large Libyan communities, like Egypt and Tunisia. Some sources say because many
of the exiled Libyans in Egypt and Tunisia are Gaddafi's supporters.
devastating blow came to light when the transitional Prime Minister
Abdurahim el-Keib accused the interim NTC on the 25th of April 2012 of hindering
his government’s efforts to hold elections on time, and of running a "vicious
media campaign" against
the transitional government (see extract and link below).
These are strong words to come from the transitional Prime Minister; but is
it right for him to blame others for his government's failure to implement the
law? Is it right for him to express this deep schism within
the government when the Libyans are looking up to them to lead by example? Why
cannot his government arrest whoever is attempting to obstruct the law including
any member from the NTC? Or is it just another "spin" to
postpone the elections and distance themselves from the "responsibility"
they stepped forward to take (by blaming each other in the open while confusing
the Libyans in the background)? The Prime Minister had already answered "some" of
these questions in the same statement when he said:
عبر رئيس الحكومة الانتقالية عبد الرحيم الكيب عن أسفه الشديد
لما وصفه بـ "الحملة
الإعلامية الشرسة" على الحكومة الانتقالية من قبل بعض أعضاء المجلس الوطني
الانتقالي . . . وقال الكيب - في بيان صحفي مساء اليوم الأربعاء - "أصبحت الحكومة
بمبرر أو بدون مبرر هدفا لحملة إعلامية شرسة من قبل المجلس أو بعض
أعضائه . . . وأكد رئيس الحكومة الانتقالية أن الأجواء المشحونة في هذا الوقت الحرج
تعرقل جهود الحكومة للقيام بواجبها الوطني وإجراء الانتخابات في موعدها المحدد .
. . وأشار الكيب إلى أن الحكومة سعت للتواصل مع المجلس الوطني الانتقالي للتركيز
على الانتخابات خلال الشهرين القادمين ، وأن تتعاون بقوة وجدية لتحقيق هذا الهدف
العظيم ، وتبتعد عن المهاترات الإعلامية وإثارة الرأي العام . . . ولفت إلى أن التهديد
بسحب الثقة من الحكومة والاستمرار في شن الهجوم عليها يعرقل جهودها في القيام بواجباتها
في خدمة أهداف ثورة السابع عشر من فبراير ، وعلى رأسها تأمين إجراء الانتخابات في
موعدها ... وقال " إن الحكومة لا تقبل بأي حال من الأحوال بتأخير الانتخابات
لمثل هذه الأسباب ، ولذا فإن الحكومة لن تتحمل
هذه المسؤولية التاريخية وتبعاتها التي قد تنحرف بالثورة عن مسارها
Source: the website of the Prime Minister's Office (ديوان رئاسة الوزراء): https://www.pm.gov.ly/news/619.html
Ought The NTC Dictate How Political Parties Should Be Formed?
Perplexing as it might seem, on the one hand the NTC in its "Constitutional
(1), stated sharia
law is the primary source of legislation in Libya; and on the other hand
news headlines echoed from around the world in April 2012 that the NTC had declared
parties and associations should not be built on the basis of regional, tribal
or religious affiliation"!
for the source of the news, one finds no proof that the NTC has ever
issued such a statement; while according to this source (almanaralink.com/press/2012/04/15856/مسؤول-بالمجلس-الانتقالي-الليبي-ينفي-ل/
), Intisar al-Aqili, an NTC official, denies the NTC had issued any statements
in which forming political parties based on religious affiliation is banned;
but she did say that the proposed draft law did including the ban on forming
political parties based on "regional or tribal" affiliation.
Weeks later, the NTC had finally published its law
29 of 2012, titled "Formation of Political Parties"; in which Article
(9) clearly states the opposite to the news circulated by the media,
in that all parties are forbidden from establishing or publishing any "ideas" that
contradict sharia law; and therefore in effect all parties
must conform to sharia law in order to function in Libya. This means that "secular" parties
are not allowed by the transitional law of the NTC, even though no authority
in Libya has the right to make such a decision until it was democratically elected
by the people of Libya!
After the election of the GNC, and according to
the Guardian, Libya's acting president, Dr. Mohammed Magarief, has "pledged" on
the 17th of February 2013 that Libya would incorporate Sharia into the forthcoming
constitution of Libya, even though no public referendum was held over the matter
for people to decide in this democratic change the leaders had in mind!
Why Draconian Law 37 Was Momentarily Dictated?
On the 2nd of May 2012 the NTC published its Law 37 (of 2012)
without any consultation with the Libyan people. The law, "Criminalising
The Glorification of The Tyrant", gives the impression that it
primarily deals with curbing the activities of Gaddafi's loyalists, but the Articles
within the law clearly undermine the presumably granted freedom of speech.
So why issue such "draconian" laws at this stage when the
whole world is watching and when Libyans are waiting to see light out of rubble?
Like many other laws and declarations passed by the NTC, and its obscure rebels,
one can only guess at the strategy behind such 'controversial' decisions.
clue however was 'spelt out' by the transitional prime minister el-Keib when
he was reported to have informed his English allies in London (on the 25th of
May 2012) that Law 37 and other such laws will
"disappear" after the forthcoming national elections! Answers like these from the leaders of Libya bring other questions to mind,
the least important of which explores the relation between passing 'draconian
measures' and 'free elections'.
Chaos, arbitrary arrests, 'secret torture dungeons', summary executions,
and assassinations, combined with blaming militias and loyalists for such violations
(committed by mystery groups that never get arrested) and the atrocities
committed by "official
militias" (as Amnesty reported)
before finally issuing draconian laws can only create confusion, and perhaps
compel opponents to hide.
Nuri al-Abbar, head of the election commission, told reporters that he blames
nobody for the postponement of the elections because it was due to the fact
that he wanted to make sure that voter registration had no links to Gaddafi (libya.tv/en/elections-postponed-until-july-7/).
There is no doubt that Gaddafi's officials and soldiers who committed crimes
against the Libyan people need to be brought before the law and faced with the
evidence, and equally the same applies to current officials who plighted Libya
with more corruption than in any other period of Libya's entire history.
one oppressive method with another makes Libyans appear detached from the reality
of the democratic process when they are not, simply because such draconian measures
were not passed by the Libyans themselves, but by others who appear to mis-represent
them during the transitional period.
the principle of democracy, all the people of Libya should have the right to
form political parties, and if any group gets the required majority to back
its cause, there is no reason why that group should not win the contested chair(s).
The policy of dividing Libyans into enemies, fighting each other on many fronts,
can only damage the stability of Libya in the long run. Only "national reconciliation"
will lead out of the quagmire.
Political Parties In Libya
Thirsty for democracy, the Libyans (are)
throwing up parties "by the bucket".
There was no proper program neither from the transitional government nor from
their allies to educate the people of Libya and prepare the stateless nation
for the democratic restructure they claimed to introduce. Everything was quickly
effected during the transitional chaos, while people were left to suffer the
There were a number of political parties formed in Libya shortly after Liberation
Day, but due to the absence of any legal framework from the NTC at the time,
many Libyans expressed their doubts over the legality of the quickly formed
parties. It seemed individuals with authority and influence
were forming parties by "the bucket" at the 5-star Rixos hotel,
while the Libyans found themselves fighting each other while still rebuilding
their homes and healing their deepest wounds.
Why create hundreds of political parties when the principles of democracy,
justice, human rights, equality and the people themselves are the same? According
to one source there are 130 political parties in Libya, but
according to the High National Election Commission's website, there are 374 political
entities in Libya, some of which are named as unions, forums, associations and
gatherings, and 12 of which were rejected by the HNEC.
It was reported by the
media that nearly 120 parties had competed for votes in Tunisia
aftermath the uprising that sent Ben Ali to safe-haven Arabia. Some Libyans feared
the creation of such large number of political parties in Libya, before even
the congress was elected, could lead to dividing the "country".
Libya's Political Groups
The Nationalist: comprising around 40% of
Libya's political activists.
The Liberals: comprising around 20% of
Libya's political activists.
The Islamists: comprising around 20%,
including jihadists (2%), salafists (12%) and Brotherhood-style Islamists (6%).
The Berbers: comprising around 15%:
the natives of Libya are not allowed by law to have independent political
representation in Libya.
The Secularists: comprising around 5%,
although this figure could be much higher, since most secularists prefer silence
due to fear of persecution. Article 9 (clause 4) of the
(29/2012) bans forming political parties that do not conform to "sharia
law". And even though the draconian Law 37 has now been abolished
by Libya's Supreme Court, there are other articles in other laws, Reuters says,
that still incriminate "those
who undermine the religion and defame the public institutions".
The following names and logos list some of the political entities found in
Tajammua' Jabal Nafousa
Hezb Tahaluf Ashabab Adimoqrathi
Hezb Attajammua' Allibi Adimoqrathi
Hezb Attajammua' Alwathani Adimoqrathi
Min Ajl Aladala Wattaqaddom
Hezb Attanmiya Warrakhae Addimoqrathi
Hezb Libya Almowahhidah Alwousthi
Hezb Libya Alwathan
Hezb Alwifaq Allibi
Aljabha Alwathaniya Lienqad Libya
Hezb Alwifaq Alwathani
Hezb Alwifaq Wattanmiya
Hezb Arribath Alwathani
Hezb Attaghyeer Walbina
Hezb Attahreer Min Ajl Aladala Wattenmiya
Hezb Attajammoa Allibi
Hezb Alwafa Alwathani
Hezb Alwasath Adimoqrathi
Hezb Alwasthiyya Litanmiya Walaman
Hezb Alijmaa Alwathani Addimoqrathi
Hezb Alisteqlal Almohafid
Hezb Aljabha Alwathaniyya
Harakat Libya lli nebbouha
Hezb Aladala Wattanmiya
Hezb Alakha Min Ajl Aladala Wattathweer
Attakattul Alwathani Littaghyeer Walislah
Attanmiya Min Ajl Almostaqbel
Attaqaddom Min Ajl Libya
Attayar Alwathani Alwasthi
Harakat Libya Annahdah
Attajammua' Alwathani Liattadamon Wattanmiya
Attajamua Allibi Alwathani Alhurr
Hezb Allibiyyin Alahrar
Hezb Alqaema Allibiya Lilhuriyya
Tajammua' Hizam Alwathan
Tajammua' Ittihad Libya
Tajammua' Labik Wathani
Tajammua' Alislah Alijtimaaee Addimoqrathi
Tajammua' Alislah Alwathani
Tajammua' Alumma Alwasath
Tajammua' Ashabab Alwathani
Tajammua' Alasala Waladala
Tajammua' Alasala Wattajdeed
Tajammua' Alasala Wattanmiya
Tajammua' Alasala Wattaqaddom
Tahaluf Alquwwa Alwathaniyya
Tajammia Libya Almowahhadah
Tajammua' Aladala Walislah Wattanmiya
Qaeimat Almoatamer Alwathani Aljadeed
Hezb Almoatamer Alwathani Aljadeed
Hezb Allibi Litanmiya
Hezb Libya Aljadida
Hezb Alistiqlal Almuhafid
Hezb Alkafaea Addimoqrathi
Hezb Alwasthiya Litanmiya Walaman
Almonaddamah Allibiya Lilwihda Alwathaniya
Tahalouf Alquwwa Alwathaniya
Tajammua' Libya Alwathan Alwahed
Tajammua' Alhemam Allibiya
Tajammua' Attayar Alwathani
Alharaka Alwathaniya Adimoqrathiya
Alharaka Alwathaniya Liladala Wattanmiya
Moassaset Alwafa Liashuhada
Muntada Alasala Alwathani
Muntada Alkudwa Assiyasi
Muntada Roueyet Almostaqbel
Kutlat Alahzab Alwathaniyyah
Libya Alqalb Annabid
Ietilaf Tahalof Alwathan
Jama'iyet Afaq Liriayet Almarae Watthifel
Jama'iyet Almoetamer Alwathani
Kayan Alnahdah Wattathweer
Attajamua Alwathani Almostaqil
Attajamua Alwathani Almostaqil Tarhouna
Attajamua Alwathani Biwadi Ashathi
Attakattul Adimoqrathi Alhurr
Attahaluf Alwathani Adimoqrathi
Attajammua' Addimoqrathi Almoaatadil
Attajammua' Alwathani Addestouri
Attajammua' Alwathani Liashabab
Alwathan Litanmiya Warafah
Annadi Allibi Liassiyasa Wattanmiya
Hezb Alwathani Lishabab Libya
Alittihad Min Ajl Alwathan
Alkayan Alwathan Alhurriya Aladal
Almoaetamer Alwathani Alhurr
Alqowwah Alwathaniyya Addakhiliya
Hezb Alwathani Allibi
Tajammua' Attadamen Allibi
Tajammua' Alintiqal Min Aththawra ila Aladdalah
Tajammua' Wadi Arrimal Litanmiya Wattaghyeer
Takattul Alayadi Albayda
Tajammua' Libya Alhadaf Walmaseer
Waa'd Attajammua' Alwathani Min Ajl Aladala Waddimoqrathiya
Takattul Tashjeea Almarae Washabab Fi Sona Alqarar
Attayyar Ashababi Allibi
Hezb Addaawa Wattanmiya
Hezb Attadamon Alwathani
Hezb Alwehda Alwathaniya Allibi
Tajammua' S'awt Ashshabab
(The Gathering of Youth's Voice)
Attayyar Alwathani Alwesthi
(1) Tahalouf Alquwwa Alwathaniya
National Forces Alliance: NFA (تحالف القوى الوطنية):
The coalition was formed in late February 2012 by the former interim prime
minister Mahmoud Jibril. In October 2011, Jibril's interim government was sacked
because it contained names previously associated with the ousted regime, before
it was replaced by el-Keib's current government. The general secretary of the
NFA is Mr. Fiasel Alkrikshi. The coalition includes the National Centrist Party,
formed by Ali Tarhuni (see next), with the aim of attracting other members from
other parties. According to Mahmoud Jibril the coalition includes 61 Libyan parties
(as of 25/06/2012). The coalition calls for a moderate "Islamic state" with "liberal"
tendencies. However, as soon as the results signaled the coalition's phenomenal
success in the elections, Mahmoud Jibril was reported by the New
York Times to have: "went out of his way to reject the “secular”
label for his National Forces Alliance and reached out to the Islamists. “There
are no extremists,” he said". It was reported in Libyan media that
Ashaykh Algharyani issued a
"fatwa" excommunicating voting for Jibril's party because of its liberalism,
and that the party is filing a lawsuit because his fatwa created a debate in
Libya which prevented many Libyans from voting for the party. Mahmoud Jibril
also reported to have requested from the HNEC to reveal the sources funding all
the Libyan parties. When Mahmoud Jibril visited Zuwarah during his pre-election
campaign, he told the Berbers of Zuwarah they either have to "get their
rights now" or "never", without of course telling them how. Maybe
now he can not only tell them how, but also do it.
It has been nearly two months after the coalition's victory at the elections,
and still there is no list of its members at its website. Supporters
did ask Jibril at his Facebook page about the lack of the list, but it does not
appear to be a direct answer to the question. One would expect the list
to be one of the first things to be published at the coalition's website!
Hezb Aladala Walbina
Justice and Construction Party (حزب العدالة والبناء )
The Justice and Construction party, also known as the Justice and Development
Party (حزب العدالة والتنمية), was set up by the Libyan
Muslim Brotherhood on
Friday the 1st of March 2012 in Tripoli (with the 3rd of March as the official
date). According to Alwatan, "غالبية أعضاء المجلس الانتقالي كانوا متواجدين
في هذا المؤتمر" ('the majority of the members of the Interim National Transitional
Council were present at the [founding] conference'). The leader of the party
is Mr. Mohammad Sawan. The founders say the party is a centrist (وسطي) party
aiming to seek and promote "cultural moderation" (ثقافة وسطية) based
on shariah law
Hezb Aljabha Alwathaniya
The National Front Party: (الجبهة الوطنية حزب)
The name "National Front" comes from the original name of the group: The
National Front for the Salvation of Libya: NFSL (الجبهة الوطنية لإنقاذ ليبيا).
The NFSL was formed in exile in October 1981. The group was led by Dr. Mohamed
Yusef al-Magariaf, the former Libyan ambassador to India, who left his post to
join the opposition. The group was active during the past 30 years or so and
has published a bimonthly magazine called
"Salvation". Its first congress was held in Morocco in May 1982. Their
manifesto called for exposing the atrocities of Gaddafi's oppressive regime,
when no one then really cared, and the introduction of "democracy".
The front was involved in organising the demonstration outside the Libyan embassy
in London in 1984, and also the failed attempt on Gaddafi’s compound in Tripoli.
On the 8th of May 1984 its military wing, the "Salvation Corps", attacked
Bab al-Azizia Barracks and inflicted heavy casualties on the guards and Gaddafi's
personnel, but Gaddafi somehow managed to escape. It seemed the plan was not
executed with total secrecy, since one of its teams, led by Ahmed Ibrahim Ehwass,
was intercepted on the outskirts of Zuwara, where it battled its way to martyrdom.
It was reported that nearly three thousand Libyans were executed by the Libyan
government aftermath the failed operation. According to Arab News, former
members of the NFSL included the present Libyan Prime Minister Abdulrahim
el-Keib, who left the group in 1993.
Tajammua' Wadi Alhayat Liddimoqrathiya Wattanmiya
Wadi Alhayat Gathering for Democracy & Development (تجمع وادي الحياة
Established on the 29th of January 2012 in Tripoli. Among the founders is
Mr. Abdurrahman Sewehli, the grandson of Ramadan Sewehli. The union is a political
gathering of individuals, groups, national forces, associations and
political parties (تكتل سياسي يضم كافة القوى الوطنية المخلصة، من أفراد و تجمعات
و أحزاب و جمعيات، و غيرها من مؤسسات المجتمع المدني). One of the aims of the party
is to work against re-establishing military rule in Libya, and unite all the
revolutionaries of Libya in one force to defend the "revolution". It
also says it will work towards confronting the loyalists of the ousted regime
and their attempts to sabotage the revolution, as well as establish transparency
and reinstate rights to their rightful owners.
Attayyar Alwathani Alwesthi
National Centrist Party (التيار الوطني الوسطي)
The party was formed on the 27th of February 2012 by the former interim oil
minister Ali Tarhuni. More than 1,000 people attended the ceremony at the Rixos
Hotel. Initially the party consisted of 20 smaller, centrist parties from various
areas in Libya. According to the founder of the party, "Libya is a Muslim
country"; "moderation" is the name of the movement"; "radicalisation" has
no place in Libya; and "education" and the creation of economic opportunities
for both Libyan men and women is a priority.
Hezb Allibiyyin Alahrar
Free Libyans Party (حزب الليبيين الأحرار)
The party was formed in Tripoli on Friday the 13th of April 2012. The leader
of the party is Mohammed Allagi, the Justice Minister of Mahmoud Jibril's ousted
government. The principles of the party are Justice, Development and Freedom,
with the aim to represent "women" and the "youth", and to
" respect" all the cultural components of the Libyan people. Its members
include Libyans from all the ethnic groups of Libya including Berbers, Tebu and Arabs.
It also includes members from the current National Transitional Council. This
is the first and the only party (at the time) that mentioned the Berbers and
the Tebu "by name"; but having said this, natives beware: the "card
of minorities" had been played before all over the world and had never
achieved any revolutionary results from the natives' point of view! On the
following month, the Patriotic Reform Party also said Libya is for "Arab,
Amazigh and all the spectra of the Libyan society", whatever that means
in principle and in practice.
Hezb Almoatamer Alwathani Aljadeed
The New National Congress Party: NNCP (حزب المؤتمر الوطني الجديد)
The New National Congress was founded on the 10th of June 2011, to continue
the "national work" started during the war of independence. The party
originally was founded by Basheer Asadawi and his colleagues during the resistance
and the fight for independence, to become one of the main political parties during
the Kingdom of Libya. In its website the founders say the party is a "centrist" party,
based on shariah law, and rejects "secularism" in favour of "civil
Hezb Addimoqrathiya Libya
The Democratic Party - Libya (الحزب الديمقراطي - ليبيا)
The party was formed by the Libyan Freedom and Democracy Campaign on the
14th of July 2011, to represent the aspirations of the Libyan people during the
transitional period. It has called for support for the NTC; for the UN to oversee
the transition; for freedom of religious belief; and for the separation of religion
and state. According to their own words, "Clearly, Islam influences
all spheres of life as behaviour cannot be dissociated from belief, but man's
relationship with God is ultimately personal and must never be dictated by politicians."
To read their "Fatwah on the Separation of Religion and State", please
follow this URL: https://www.temehu.com/NTC/dpl-fatwah-separation-of-religion-and-state.pdf.
Future Libya ( ليبيا المستقبل)
The party was founded on the principles of the 17th February in Tripoli. Its
website does not say when the party was formed, but it said it held its first
meeting on the 29th of August 2011 and that the party was formed thereafter.
The party calls for freedom, social justice, democracy, civil society, respect
of human rights and shariah law.
The party was founded in Tripoli on the 20th of October 2011. Article (1)
of their "draft constitution" (downloadable from their website), declared
Arabic as the only official language while at the same time "respecting
the culture and language of those who are not Arabs". Referring to
other natives of Libya as "none-Arab" nationals many may see as
"unrespectful" since natives do have names, like "Berbers" and "Tebu".
It is like the case of you are either with us or against us -- you are either
an "Arab" or "Not-Arab". Article (12) states all Libyans
will "completely enjoy" on equal terms all human rights, while Article
(16) claims all Libyans are equal before the law to "enjoy" its protection "without
any kind of discrimination". Without a doubt the Berbers and the Tebu
will be angered by such use of terms as "enjoy", as they were angered
by the NTC's unjust Constitutional Declaration. The "United Nations Declaration
on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples" clearly states that indigenous people
have the right to "self-determination", "self-government",
and "nationality", and even affirms "all doctrines,
policies and practices based on or advocating superiority of peoples or individuals
on the basis of national origin or racial, religious, ethnic or cultural differences
are racist, scientifically false, legally invalid, morally condemnable and socially
A just constitution must equally and officially recognise the rights of the natives
of Libya and must refer to these peoples by their true names, and grant the official
dignity they have always sought, rather than use dubious terms such as "respect", "completely", "not-Arab",
It all boils to what "revolution" means!
Hezb A'omoum Libya
All Libya Party (حزب عموم ليبيا)
The party was founded on the 29th of November 2011 in Tripoli. The principles
of the party are social justice, freedom, democracy, the unity of Libya, human
rights, and Islam is the source of its legislative law.
The (Free) Libyan National Democratic Party for Justice & Development
(الحزب الليبي الديمقراطي الحر للعدالة و التنمية)
The official website of the party has dropped the word "free" from
its English translation of its Arabic name (The Libyan National Democratic Party
for Justice & Development). The leader of the party is Ali Ferjani Khamis.
The party claimed (in its website) that it has 525,000 members, but when clicking
on the list of members the page claims the total number of members is 100,000
(without listing a single name). It also said that the number of members is expected
to reach 2,000,000 by the end of 2012! The party says Islam will be the source
of its legislative law, and that 10,000 poor Libyans will be made millionaires
every year. [At this rate all Libyans will be millionaires by the year 2462 AD,
which by then none of them will be there to see it, and excluding the yearly
increase in population and the usual decearse in currency value!] The website
of the party (www.libyanparty.com/) has vanished since.
The National Gathering for Freedom, Justice and Development (التجمع الوطني
من اجل الحرية والعدالة والتنمية)
The party was founded in November 2011 in Tripoli. Analysts say the party
modeled itself on the Turkish party, while others say it is no more than a version
of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. The party is led by Sheikh Ali al-Salabi, whose
opponents say he aspires to introduce shariah law in Libya, while
others say he is a "reformist" who intends to introduce a
Attahaluf Alwathani Adimoqrathi
Democratic National Alliance Party (التحالف الوطني الديمقراطي)
The party was established in exile (in Cairo) on the 25th of November 1987,
by its general secretary Mansour Rashid al-Kikhia, in an effort to consolidate
the struggle against Gaddafi's oppressive regime. Al-Kikhia was Libya's Minister
of Foreign Affairs between 1972 and 1973, Libyan Ambassador to the United Nations,
and Libya's Permanent Representative to the United Nations. He was reported
to have been kidnapped in 1993 by "three men in a black limousine with diplomatic
license plate" a few yards from Cairo's Safir Hotel, allegedly working for
the Egyptian Intelligence, and was later handed over to Libya where he disappeared,
presumably executed. On September the 11th 2012 New Quryna said Abdulla Assanousi,
Gaddafi's chief of intelligence, had confessed that Alkikhia was kidnapped by
the Libyans, killed and buried in the garden of one of the villas
in Tripoli (www.qurynanew.com/41616). The party pledged its alliance to
the National Transitional Council on the 12th of March 2011, and declared the
continuation of its struggle during its meeting in Benghazi on the 12th of July
2011, under the leadership of professor Ashour Saad Bin Khaial as the Deputy
Secretary-General of the absentee Mr. Mansour Rashid Kikhia.
The name Sahwa means "Reawakening". The party is based in Tripoli
and was founded by Hussam Najjar. Political analysts say the party is
"social democrat" with a "moderate Islamic element".
Al-Umma Party (حزب الأمة)
Al-Umma party is a moderate Islamist party, headed by Wasila al-Aashiq. In
a statement to Reuters, she said "she had hoped for more seats to
go to parties", in reference to the restriction imposed by the Election
Law (of the NTC), in which only 80 out of the 200 seats will go to parties.
Hezb Alwathani Allibi
The Libyan National Party (الحزب الوطني الليبي)
The party was founded by Mr. Basheer Mohammad as a party "without any
but "Libya". The founding statement says the party is open to all Libyans,
and one of its main goals is participation in building Libya. Its principles
are freedom, democracy, human rights and the formation of a civil society.
Truth and Democracy Party of Benghazi ( حزب الحق و الديمقراطيه الليبي في بنغازي
The party was established in Benghazi on the 8th of December 2011, but the
website of the party gives no names -- not even of the party founder. According
to its website, the aim is to turn Libya into a "paradise", in which
every Libyan will have a free land, free home, free education, free health care,
free car, free electricity, and free telephone & internet. It also
says they will abolish tax, establish the "gold dinar", demolish prisons
(by replacing them with specialised education and discipline camps), cancel all
national celebrations (including Independence Day, and except for the two Eids),
declare the month of Ramadan as a holiday (except for necessary services), clean
the rubbish piling up in Libya's streets, eradicate drugs and alcohol, close
all Libyan Embassies abroad (and replace them with "one large business cooperation
office in Tripoli"), and investigate the killing of General Abdulfattah
Reform and Development Party ( حزب الإصلاح والتنمية)
The Reform and Development Party was set up by religious leaders in Benghazi,
as an independent, political and developmental party, with the aim to develop
the various social, economic and political aspects of the Libyan society based
on sharia law. It also pledged to develop freedom and activate the right
to form political parties and civil organisation so long as they do not contradict
with "Islamic values". All opposing opinions and views will be accepted
and dealt with in a democratic manner, they said (www.libya.tv/2012/01/الاعلان-عن-تأسيس-حزب-إسلامي-ليبي).
Hezb Alwathani Lilislah
The Patriotic Reform Party ( الحزب الوطني للإصلاح)
The party is a centrist party aiming to restore democracy and freedom to Libya
and eliminate corruption, under the guidance of "tolerant Islamic faith
of moderation and reform concepts of the modern civil state". The party
calls for political, economic, educational and healthcare reforms according to
the principle of equality. In their website, they envisage "Libya where
everyone is equal before the law . . . a society where . . . moderate Islamic
cultural are protected to enable all of us Arab, Amazigh and
all the spectra of the Libyan society to benefit from the richness of this great
culture and to develop it for future generations."
Summit Party (حزب القمة)
The party was said to have been formed by the head of Tripoli's rebels council
Abdulla Naker on the 17th of January 2012. The party has no "foreign agenda",
the founder said, but the "guaranteeing of the security of Libya".
Media sources say the "Summit party lists Islam as the religion of the
state and primary source of legislation", while at the same time accommodates
Hezb Aladala Waddimoqrathiya Allibi
Libyan Justice and Democracy Party (حزب العدالة والديمقراطية
The party was originally founded by Dr. Hadi Shalluf in Paris on the 21st
of May 2005. The objectives of the party include fortifying democracy, work towards
building the rule of law, the independence of the three branches of the judicial,
executive and legislative, establishing a modern and civil Libya, and upholding
the principles of human rights, progress and prosperity of the Libyan people
in accordance with international law.
Hzb Almithaq Alwathani
National Convention Party (حزب الميثاق الوطني)
The party is democratic centrist party, defending the revolution and
calling for the respect of human rights and the unity of Libya. The party deplores
tribalism, violence and chaos, and aims to establish stability, security and
The Voice of the Nation's Youth (صوت شباب الوطن)
The party was founded by Muntasir Billahi Saad al-Fiesi and other political
activists who took part in the February Uprising in Benghazi, as well as by some
civil organisations, militias, and other Libyans from a number of Libyan cities.
Hezb Alwehda Alwathaniya Allibi
Libyan National Unity Party (حزب الوحدة الوطنية الليبي)
The party was founded by Solieman Ahmed Aswaihli and Anis Emhammed Aswaihli.
The party calls for the national unity of Libya and criticises the autonomy calls
of Ahmed Azubair. The party calls for educating the Libyan people of all their
rights, justice, demecracy, human rights, and women's rights in accordance with
sharia law ( تحقيق المزيد من مكاسب المرآة بما يتفق مع الشريعة الأسلامية و المواثيق
Hezb Attajammua' Alwathani Adimoqrathi
Min Ajl Aladala Wattaqaddom
National Democratic Assembly for Justice and Progress (حزب
التجمع الوطني الديمقراطي من اجل العدالة والتقدم)
The National Democratic Assembly was formed in Tripoli and Zawiya, and announced
its first manifesto on the 27th of February 2011. According to Abdel Dayem al-Gharabli,
a lawyer from Zawiyah, the party was founded to support the rule of law, respect
liberties and the right to free opinion, and be inspired by moderate Islam.
The Change Party (حزب التغيير)
The Change Party was officially established on Tuesday the 15th of May 2012,
in a ceremony held at Radisson Blu Hotel in Tripoli. The former spokesman and
representative of the NTC in the UK, Mr. Guma el-Gamaty, was one of the founding
members of the party. The party was announced as a "nationalist party" that
is neither religious nor secular while respecting the religious and cultural
heritage of Libya. The party aims to attract public participation from across
Libya, with a focus on building the future state that is free, just, democratic
and stable. The name comes from the principle of change in order to achieve these
goals and move forward.
Hezb Libya Aljadida
New Libya Party ( حزب ليبيا الجديدة ): NLP
The New Libya Party ( حزب ليبيا الجديدة ) was founded on the 11th of
April 2011 by Ragab Zatout, from Derna, Cyrenaica, and Ramadan Ben Amer, from
Benghazi. According to http://newlibyanews.com/رسائل-من-القراء/زاوية-الكتاب/ليبيا-الجديدة-أول-حزب-سياسي-يبصر-النور-في-بنغازي.html,
the party was formed by Libyans living in America, Canada and Germany and that
its members number around 20,000 people. The party pledges equality, freedom,
generous compensations for all those suffered damages under the old regime, and
fair share of Libya's oil revenues on a monthly basis. The report also says that
the party calls for greater participation of women, "protection of minorities" (!),
and establishing Libya as a Muslim-Secular state.
Hezb Libya Alwathan
Libya Homeland Party (حزب ليبيا الوطن)
The party was established on the 27th of December 2011 in Tripoli. The principles
of the party are centrism, freedom, justice, nationalism, transparency, responsibility,
quality, creativity and development. Its message is: العزة والكرامة والرفاهية
لكل الليبيين (pride, dignity and prosperity for all Libyans). On the 14th
of May 2012, the leader of the party, Abd al-Hakim Belhaj, told reporters that
he had registered his party for June's election, after he resigned from his military
post as the head of Tripoli Military Council.