Skip to main content

New Libyan law bans ex-Gadhafi officials from government

By Jomana Karadsheh, CNN
May 6, 2013 -- Updated 0902 GMT (1702 HKT)
Moammar Gadhafi, left, arrives for an Arab Summit Conference in Rabat, Morocco, with Egyptian President Gamal Abdul Nasser in December 1969, months after taking control of Libya in a bloodless coup. Moammar Gadhafi, left, arrives for an Arab Summit Conference in Rabat, Morocco, with Egyptian President Gamal Abdul Nasser in December 1969, months after taking control of Libya in a bloodless coup.
HIDE CAPTION
Gadhafi through the years
Gadhafi through the years
Gadhafi through the years
Gadhafi through the years
Gadhafi through the years
Gadhafi through the years
Gadhafi through the years
Gadhafi through the years
Gadhafi through the years
Gadhafi through the years
Gadhafi through the years
Gadhafi through the years
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Former Gadhafi officials are now banned from official posts in Libya
  • Armed protesters had pressed lawmakers to pass the law for months
  • Head of parliament, prime minister may be affected by the law
  • Law is "guilt by association" and unfair, Human Rights Watch says

Tripoli, Libya (CNN) -- Lawmakers in Libya passed a law on Sunday banning senior Gadhafi government officials from holding official posts.

The move comes after a week of rising tensions in the Libyan capital of Tripoli as heavily armed protesters surrounded the Foreign and Justice ministries demanding that the legislature pass the law.

The political isolation law could exclude current senior officials such as the head of the General National Congress Mohamed al-Magariaf, who served as ambassador to India in the 1970s before he joined the exiled opposition to the Gadhafi government. The General National Congress is Libya's parliament.

Gunmen seek to oust Gadhafi loyalists

It remains unclear if Prime Minister Ali Zaidan, who was a diplomat in India around the same time, would be affected by the ban.

The law, which would be implemented by a committee that would decide whether officials fall under the exclusion criteria, goes into effect in 30 days.

But the law has already come under fire by international watchdog groups.

"(The law) violates human rights and Libya's provisional constitution because it allows for guilt by association rather than provable misdeeds. The provisions and procedures for exclusion are overly broad and vague. The desire to ban corrupt and abusive officials is understandable, but this law is deeply flawed," said Hanan Salah, Human Rights Watch's Libya researcher.

Soon after the law was passed, Libyans broke into cheers as hundreds congregated outside the GNC, celebrating what many described as a victory. Celebratory gunfire rang across many areas of Tripoli as people drove around the city honking their horns and chanting in celebration.

Outside the Justice Ministry, armed protesters played music and danced as they prepared to sacrifice a camel, a Libyan tradition.

In March armed protesters surrounded the GNC for several hours in an attempt to force lawmakers to pass the law. They later opened fire on the car of Magariaf, who escaped unharmed.

There were concerns on Sunday of a repeat of these events if lawmakers had not come to an agreement.

The siege of government ministries seems to have ended with the passing of the law, but many Libyans are concerned about the implications of the vote.

"The events of last week have set a number of precedents -- the precedent that using arms to force the government to adopt a law or policy; the precedent of establishing non-equality of citizenship before the law, in effect creating classes of Libyans; and the principle that in the New Libya, people can and will be judged on the bases of general classification, not individual responsibility," said Hafed al-Ghwell, a former Gadhafi opposition figure and a Libya analyst.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1049 GMT (1849 HKT)
British PM David Cameron has had the narrowest of political escapes.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 0106 GMT (0906 HKT)
British journalist John Cantlie hadn't been seen in nearly two years. Now, he's the latest hostage to be paraded out by ISIS.
The burial leader. The hospital gatekeeper. The disease detective. All telling powerful, stories from West Africa.
September 18, 2014 -- Updated 2303 GMT (0703 HKT)
Alibaba's IPO is unlike anything investors have ever seen and could threaten other online retailers. Maggie Lake reports.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1226 GMT (2026 HKT)
Indian PM Narendra Modi has said al Qaeda will fail if it seeks to spread its terror network into his country.
September 18, 2014 -- Updated 1201 GMT (2001 HKT)
Put yourself in the shoes (and sixth-century black robes) of ISIS' Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the mysterious boss of the terror group.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1939 GMT (0339 HKT)
 Tennis Player Li Na attends the WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party as guests enjoy Ciroc Vodka presented by Dubai Duty Free at Kensington Roof Gardens on June 19, 2014 in London,
Asia's first grand slam singles champion Li Na has called time on her 15-year tennis career.
Jenson Button has some of quickest reactions ever shown at an advanced sports lab.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1124 GMT (1924 HKT)
Creative companies with quirky ideas find new lending models advantageous.
September 18, 2014 -- Updated 1409 GMT (2209 HKT)
Even death couldn't part two skeletons excavated from a lost chapel in an English county, found with their fingers entwined.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1007 GMT (1807 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT