Libya’s ex-rebels want nearly half of NTC seats
TRIPOLI - Agence France-Presse
Former fighters protest at the office of Libya’s PM El-Keib (C) in Tripoli Dec 23. REUTERS photoLibya’s former rebels, who battled the forces of dead dictator Moammar Gadhafi, are demanding greater representation in the National Transitional Council, a commander from Misrata said Dec. 26.
The “thwars” (revolutionaries) demand that 40 percent of the NTC be composed of former rebels “because they are the symbol of this revolution,” said Fraj al-Soueili from Misrata, the port city east of Tripoli that was besieged by Gadhafi’s men.
He was reading the final communique after a conference of the “Union of Thwars in Libya,” which says it represents up to 70 percent of the ex-rebels. NTC chief Mustafa Abdel Jalil called on Dec. 21 the former rebels at the conference in Tripoli to come up with a list of potential candidates to join the interim body. “We will choose seven, eight or nine to become members of the national council,” he said. There are currently around 50 members of the NTC, which must be dissolved following the election next June of a national congress. Soueili said civil society groups and local councils should also have a former rebel representation of 40 percent, 10 percent women and 10 percent from the Amazigh Berber, Toubou and Tuareg minorities. “The council is not representative enough ... The question is being discussed (with the authorities), but it’s going to happen,” said Al-Bahlul Essid, one of the conference organizers. He said was it was not a question of dissolving the NTC but enlarging it. The former fighters are also demanding the dismissal of several NTC members accused of being “opportunists” or collaborating with the former regime, another delegate, Mohammed Khfayer from Al-Bayda in the east, said.