Libya’s parliament on 5 May 2013 passed a comprehensive law which bans anyone who served as a senior official under Muammar Gaddafi during his 42 year-long rule from working in government.
The passing of such Political Isolation Law possibly will lead to the dismissal of many current leaders, some of whom had defected to the rebel side during the country’s 2011 civil war or had been elected to office since Gaddafi’s ouster and killing.
The move is also likely to further stall the country’s already unsteady transition to democracy by ousting elected lawmakers. The General National Congress, Libya’s elected parliament, voted overpoweringly in favour of the law. Out of 200 lawmakers, 169 attended the vote.
Aftereffects of the law
• The law is supposed to give a boost to Islamists, who performed poorly in recent elections compared to their counterparts in other Arab states.
• The law was partially driven by the unpopularity of Libya’s current crop of politicians among many of the still-powerful former rebels who toppled Gaddafi, and others who say little has improved since. Backers of the law say it is necessary to complete the revolution.
• The law may affect a number of ambassadors, heads of governmental agencies, professors and media professionals on government payrolls.
• Security officials such as the military’s chief of staff Maj. Gen. Youssef Mangoush, once a Special Forces commander under Gaddafi, may also come under the law. He quit his post 10 years before the uprising began and sided with rebels during the war.
• The law states that parliamentarians who lose their post will be replaced by either the next name on the party list or by the independent candidate who came in second in a district. This could benefit many Islamists, who trailed in the elections and came in second in many districts.