Tripoli, 24 April:
Libya has banned parties that have a religious, tribal or regional platform. Parties are also banned from receiving any foreign funding. Laws Nos. 29 and 30 on the organisation of parties were approved by the NTC at a meeting in Tripoli this evening, Tuesday.
NTC spokesman Mohamed Al-Hareizi confirmed the laws had been approved.
The new legislation on the formation of political parties was needed to be in place in time for the June elections. Eighty seats out of the 200 in the National Congress which will be elected on 19 June to devise a new constitution are reserved for political parties. The other 120 are for individual candidates.
Well over 50 parties have been formed in the past few months despite the absence of laws regulating them.
The new law is thought unlikely to affect the Muslim Brotherhood’s Justice and Construction Party launched on 3 March and led by Mohammed Sawan. It has been deliberately vague about its religious affiliation, saying that it is open to both Brotherhood members and non-Brotherhood members alike. “We aim for diversity and a state of law where differences in opinion are respected,” Sawan had said at the time of the launch.
However, the Nation Party of Abdul-Hakim Belhaj, leader of Tripoli Military Council and a former commander of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group in Afghanistan who is suing British officials for his rendition back to Libya could face problems.
The party, backed by well-known Libyan cleric Sheikh Ali Sallabi, has a specific Islamic agenda. “The aim of the party is to preserve the identity of Libya as a Muslim country,” party coordinator Mohammed Ghula just before the party was launched on 16 April.
The Reform and Development party set up by religious leaders in Benghazi could also find itself in difficulties.
There is no Salafist party in Libya.
The National Federal Bloc party which declared Cyrenaica as self-autonomous region looks certainly to be in trouble.