By Umar Khan.
Tripoli, 30 June:
The Justice & Construction party was created in March of this year and is led by Mohammed Sawan, a Misratan and former political prisoner under Qaddafi. It is fielding 73 candidates, making it the biggest of all the parties.
Justice & Construction was formed by the Muslim Brotherhood on the principle that the party will also be open to independent members. Sawan was elected as the head of the party following a two day conference in Tripoli. Justice & Construction is a religious party that uses Islam as the frame of reference in all areas of life.
The party has an advisory council (Shura) of 45 members that determines the direction of the party and makes executive decisions. The party’s 73 candidates have been fielded across 19 lists all over Libya for the elections. It has emerged as a national party with its branches extending to all the cities of Libya.
Prior to the revolution, the Muslim Brotherhood was banned in Libya for over three decades and its members were pursued by the former regime. After the start of the 17 February uprising, the organization says it took an active part on all fronts and many of its members were part of the NTC. The party will rely on its past struggle against the regime to entice voters and will have an edge on its competitors in terms of organisation.
According to Sawan, Justice & Construction believes that the parliamentary system will be most suited to Libya and that they support de-centralisation but strongly oppose the idea of federalism as the party believes that “it’s not something the people want”.
The party will be focusing on four key issues during their campaign: security and stability, reconciliation, the economy and the proliferation of arms. The party also promises to pay special attention to human development by improving the education system and the healthcare system.
Justice & Construction believes that justice should be done before reconciliation and that it should be achieved through national dialogue.
The party presents itself as a moderate and progressive religious party. In addition to its 35 female candidates, it has a large number of women members, many of whom are working in key roles, it says.
According to Sawan, the party has a policy to encourage youth to work for their country and believes that Libya cannot be rebuilt without their participation.
Justice & Construction wants to see an institutional democracy in Libya with an independent judiciary and a powerful army. The party promises to develop relations with international organisations to implement human rights covenants and to work on international relations on the basis of equality.
Their website can be found at www.ab.ly
Umar Khan can be found on Twitter at www.twitter.com/umarnkhan