Libya drops ban on religion-based parties

AFP , Wednesday 2 May 2012

Libya says the previous ban on religious political party functioned to test public reactions to the legislation

Libya's ruling National Transitional Council on Wednesday dropped a controversial ban against parties organised along religious, regional, tribal or ethnic lines.

Members of the NTC judicial committee on Wednesday read out an amended version of its law governing the formation of political parties, making no mention of the ban.

"The ban had been announced (on April 24) to test public reactions," an NTC member said in reference to the earlier version which had come under fire from Islamists and federalists.

Political organisations of any kind were banned for decades under the iron-fisted rule of slain leader Moamer Kadhafi.

The NTC scrapped legislation outlawing political associations in January.

Dozens of parties have launched since then with the intention of contesting the constituent assembly election that the NTC has pledged to organise by June 19.

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