Getting to Know the Opposition (in Libya)

by Manal Omar.Director of Iraq, Iran, and North Africa Programs, Center for Conflict Management, U.S. Institute of Peace. Co-authored by Tarkowski Tempelhof. Source: Huffington World

With the overthrow of Moammar Gaddafi, Libya has a whole new political spectrum that covers a formal transitional government to remnants of the monarchy. Each will play some telling role over the next few months as the North African country struggles to redefine itself. Here’s the basic breakdown.

Who did the world recognize? The transitional government emerged as four pillars: National Transitional Council (NTC), The Executive Board (TEB), the Libya Stabilization Team, and The Local Councils.

Among Eastern Libyans there is a consensus that an official body is needed, and few have expressed opposition to the NTC as a governing body. The main concern has been over the selection process. The NTC seems to be dominated by two key-families: the Bogaigis and the Garianis. For most Libyans, faith is placed with the President, Mustafa Abdel Jalil who benefits from popular support. His recent announcement that he will be the first to stand trial in any country for transitional justice was well received, and confirmed people’s faith in him to lead Libya into the transition.

The Executive Board’s (TEB) primary mandate has been to focus on diplomacy. The TEB is not well known to local groups, and perceived by many to be out of touch with the Libyan streets. On a political level, many still question how the TEB and NTC work together, with some local activists suggesting that they appeared to be evolving into competing entities. The success of the NTC and TEB will be determined by their ability to integrate with the Tripoli technocrats in the next phase.

As a testimony to the NTC’s recognition of the need to respond immediately following the fall of Gaddafi, a group was formed by presidential decree called the Libyan Stabilization Team to deliver safety and stability during the transition phase. The LST consists of committees dedicated to delivery on everything from basic services to governess to civil society. The Chairman of the Team is Dr. Ahmed Jehani, NTC’s Minister of Reconstruction and the Spokesman is Dr. Aref Nayed (Ambassador to the UAE).

The governance was not only on a national level, but also resulted in the creation of local councils in the liberated cities. The rapidity of the emergence of local councils’ after February 17th was largely due to preexisting structure of local councils under Gaddafi. There is still a large question as to level of coordination with the NTC, but an overall consensus that the councils have been able to deliver more efficiently.

The February 17th Youth Movement
The February 17th Youth Movement perceive themselves as the initiators of the revolution…

A good background article, read more here!

Categories: Africa, Libya

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