Libya's NTC to meet Sunday to adopt electoral law

AFP , Saturday 28 Jan 2012

The National Transitional Council’s meeting on adopting Libya’s new electoral law will be held on Tripoli instead of Benghazi that recently witnessed violent protests against the ruling NTC

Mustafa Abdel Jalil
Mustafa Abdel Jalil, chairman of the Libyan National Transitional, delivers a speech during a news conference in Benghazi. (Photo: Reuters)

Libya's ruling National Transitional Council will meet on Sunday to adopt the nation's new electoral law which aims to bar supporters of slain dictator Moamer Gaddafi from contesting polls.

NTC member Fathi Baja told AFP that the meeting to adopt the law, which had been scheduled for Saturday in the eastern city of Benghazi, will now be held in the capital Tripoli on Sunday.

"The NTC will not meet today. All NTC members are arriving in Tripoli to hold the meeting tomorrow," Baja said.

The NTC, which spearheaded the bloody rebellion against Gaddafi and now rules the new Libya, has come under severe criticism over its functioning and choice of members.

Last week it met in Benghazi, birthplace of the anti-Gaddafi revolution, to adopt the electoral law, but had to postpone the decision amid angry protests which forced the council's number two, Abdel Hafiz Ghoga, to resign.

Benghazi residents opposed Ghoga over his belated defection from the former regime.

Protesters stormed the NTC office in Benghazi and threw several home-made grenades at it last Saturday, demanding that the entire council resign except a few members such as Mustafa Abdel Jalil, who heads the ruling body.

The electoral law, meanwhile, is expected to see amendments after several groups stated their opposition to the initial draft.

That opposition focused on several provisions, including on the article stipulating that 10 percent of seats in the constitutional assembly be reserved for women.

This provision is now expected to be scrapped in the law's final draft.

The draft law also barred Libyans holding dual nationality and those who benefited under Gaddafi's regime from contesting elections.

Under the draft, candidates in elections must be aged at least 25, and the minimum voting age is 18.

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